The UK’s largest business group, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), has elected a new National Chairman – Mike Cherry – to lead the organisation for the next three years.
Mike Cherry, was elected on Saturday 19 March at FSB’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Glasgow, after one of the best-attended National Conferences in FSB’s history.
During his term in office he will seek to build on his considerable success over the past six years leading FSB’s campaigning and parliamentary engagement in his former role as FSB national policy chairman and policy director.
Discussing his vision for the future of FSB, Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: “I’ve spent most of my working life as a small business owner, in the timber and manufacturing industry, and have been a member of FSB for over 20 years. In that time I have watched this organisation go from strength to strength.
“Today FSB has a reach and an influence like never before. We are a powerful voice for small businesses. Our current credibility is hard won, but it’s still only a pale reflection of the huge contribution small business plays in generating the jobs and prosperity on which our country depends – so we need to go further and push harder.
“There is no other organisation which has the foundations in place to deliver the first class services, the real policy change, and the fantastic networking opportunities we can. Like any business, FSB needs to modernise and evolve if we are to continue to grow and meet the real challenges our members face. I’m confident we are more than up to the task.”
FSB is wholly owned and run by its small business members. For this reason the FSB Board, including its National Chairman, are all elected volunteers who often continue to run their own business while in office.
Mike Cherry will continue to run his business, W.H Mason & Son (Timber Merchants) Ltd, one of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of Cask Closures in the UK based in Burton Upon Trent. Also elected at FSB’s AGM were Martin McTague, as FSB Policy Director, and David Stallon, as FSB Commercial Director.
Martin McTague joins the FSB Board as a longstanding FSB member of 18 years. In the past Martin has held a number of senior positions in his local FSB region of Yorkshire, but most recently he has served as FSB Planning and Local Government Policy Chairmen. Martin currently owns and manages three businesses offering public policy, engineering and IT consultancy services.
Commenting on his election, Martin McTague, FSB national policy director,said: “I truly believe that FSB has the power to change the lives of small business owners right across the country. Creating the right environment for businesses to start and grow, providing stability, and reducing the big challenges we all face.
“We are now the UK’s most effective business lobby and this is recognised by decision makers at every level of government and in all parts of the UK. I know the next year has some real worries ahead for our members and the wider small business movement.
“The introduction of pensions auto-enrolment, the National Living Wage and changes to the taxation of dividends are all significant challenges. We are the only organisation which stands a chance in making a difference on these issues. I will be working hard to make sure we do.”
David Stallon’s election as FSB commercial director follows a previous successful term on the FSB Board as honorary national secretary. Here Dave contributed significantly to improving the organisations membership offering and its long term financial stability.
Looking forward to his new term on the FSB Board, Dave Stallon, FSB commercial director, said: “Central to FSB from our founding has been the principal that we put our members first before anything else. I intend to live up to that aim.
“We are now competing in a tougher commercial environment than ever before, but joining FSB remains the best deal any small business owner will ever make. I plan to keep it that way.”