Contact Details


8, Prigg Lane, 

South Petherton, 


TA13 5BX

T: 01460 242886

M: 07725 806010


Growth Accelerator logo




Forum of Private Business

'For our members, not for profit'

I was delighted to have been invited in December 2014 become the Membership Advisor for businesses in Somerset, Devon and Dorset for the Forum of Private Businesses. The organisation was formed in 1977 as a lobbying group campaigning for the interests of small businesses. Lobbying is all very well - but small businesses need practical help too, and so the FPB has negotiated a raft of services at 'no brainer' prices for its members. The FPB is a very lean business which means that more of its members' funds go towards premium services. 

Lobbying continues under the auspices of the FPB Policy Team which is based in Westminster (although they represent small businesses' interests in Holyrood and Cardiff too). The Policy Team is headed up by Alex Jackman. 

Phil Orford, the Chief Executive of FPB, joined in 2008, right in the teeth of the recession which small businesses found so challenging. In 2013, Phil was awarded an MBE for his services to small businesses.

In the course of putting together benefits for small businesses last year as part of developing Team Red Umbrella I found myself wishing I could create something like this, but knowing this was a gargantuan task in itself! Maybe a fairy has finally found the tooth I lost in the garden in Lancashire and missed out on the sixpence!

Here are some of the products from which small businesses can benefit at a fraction (and I mean a fraction!) of the price they would pay if they were trying to source them for themselves.

HR + Legal + Health &  Safety + Tax Protection

  • 24/7 legal advice - commercial, employment, health and safety - You might think that you rarely need legal advice, particularly if you have no employees, but it's amazing how much you use this when you have it on draught!

  • Tax and VAT advice - if you are a sole trader or just have a niggling question and can't find the answer online, this can save precious time.

  • Specialist representation and defence for HMRC regulations - as you may well know, since the introduction of Self Assessment HMRC are a liberty to 'enquire' into both business and personal affairs, enter your business premises and home, and demand to see all relevant paperwork. In the past they needed a reason to do so, but now some investigations are random. And the number is increasing as HMRC are required to crack down on tax evasion. Accountants' fees vary, but the average cost quoted for support is between £2,000 and £5,000. Stand alone insurance cover starts at around £200. Your FPB cover includes insurance which will pay your accountant's fees.

  • Employment dispute and tribunal cover

  • Health & safety prosecution cover

  • Directors' and officers' insurance to protect your personal assets

  • Criminal prosecution cover

  • Statutory licence protection

  • Personal injury cover

  • Wrongful arrest cover

  • Jury service - compensation if the business owner or any staff are called for jury service *liimited to £100/day or £1,000 per claim

  • Data protection prosecution cover


Commercial benefits, business growth and cost savings

  • Free membership of buying support group giving access to significant savings across a wide range of business purchases - worth £495

  • Utilities savings

  • Competitive business insurance service

  • Free card processing review to help you find the best deal available. Save the maximum amount, including short term and seasonal use

  • Free fuel card to reduce cost of fuel, plus manage vehicle mileage and HMRC VAT claims

  • Exclusive deals with Lexus and Toyota on new vehicles offering significant savings (both contract hire and purchase).

This is just a summary of benefits and resources available through membership of the Forum. Check out other business resources here

If you would like to discuss this further, please ring me (Gill Bray) on 01460 242886 or 07725 806010 to find out more