Tell us what it's really like in coronavirus UK! That's the plea to small and medium sized businesses throughout the Western Isles from a national small business group.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which says it is the UK’s largest and most respected business organisation, is conducting a major survey of SMEs and the self-employed to ensure that its continued championing of smaller businesses is supported by the most robust, up-to-date evidence.

The survey is open to all SME’s and is being promoted as widely as possible to ensure the largest possible participation, for the more responses received, the more accurate the data, both overall and by sector and geography.

The survey closes next Thursday – the 30th of April. Link = https://www.fsbbigvoice.co.uk/ImpactOfCovid19

Recent successes for the FSB include persuading the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer to introduce support for the self-employed, and the Scottish Government to introduce additional support to help businesses falling through the cracks in earlier relief projects.

As Lockdown continues, so the importance of the FSB’s championing of smaller businesses remains as strong as ever, but this must be based on the latest evidence to ensure that the business organisation continues to call for the right things, at the right time and in the right way.

David Richardson, the FSB’s Highlands & islands Development Manager, said: “Now, more than ever, smaller businesses need a strong voice in the corridors of power, and the FSB is fulfilling that role to the letter.

“Our size, our independence, and the fact that everything we say is evidence-based, combine to make our arguments both powerful and compelling. But we don’t just ask for help; we also recommend workable, affordable and effective ways of delivering it, and the results are there for all to see in the business support packages being delivered by the UK and Scottish Governments and local authorities.

“At this unimaginably dangerous time for Western Isles businesses, and for the Highlands & Islands economy and community as a whole, I encourage all business owners and the self-employed to take part.

"It is important that the realities of life in the Highlands & Islands are revealed through this UK-wide survey.”