NEW volunteers have taken up the challenge to speak up for small businesses across York and North Yorkshire.

The Federation of Small Businesses has elected Andrea Morrison to head up the group’s grassroots activity in York.

Andrea has become an FSB area lead for York and North Yorkshire for a three-year term, alongside Lee Harris-Hamer, from Thirsk.

Andrea runs a successful York-based coaching business and delivers peer group networking and mentoring, with Phillip Bolson, for the York & North Yorkshire LEP.

The FSB is Britain’s biggest business representation group and Andrea sees her volunteer role as vital to ensure the needs of small businesses throughout the area remain firmly on the radar of the powers-that-be.

She said: “I’m delighted to have been appointed to this key role and want to ensure that the voice of small businesses across York & North Yorkshire area is clearly heard.

"I look forward to working with all our local members and Lee, with Carolyn Frank our development manager, to ensure we stay at the heart of the local debate and at the forefront of business policy decision-making.

"It's really important to me that FSB members feel included in policy making and that they take advantage of the wide range of benefits FSB offer them, and I hope to facilitate those links for them during my term of office."

Andrea and Lee will deal with key local issues, leading a network of local volunteers and be part of wider FSB policy discussions throughout the UK.

Carolyn Frank, FSB development manager for York & North Yorkshire, said: “Volunteers are crucial to FSB’s success as it’s only by drawing on the experience of our members who run their own small businesses that FSB is able to be such a strong campaigning voice, locally and nationally."

“Therefore, I want to congratulate both Andrea and Lee on their appointments. I know they will be strong advocates for businesses locally.

" Our volunteer group here is full of great business owners who are driving FSB forward and keeping us in touch with the local and national issues that matter to members."

Carolyn thanked the former leads Chris Cooper and Nancy Prest who have completed their three years in office and been a great support.

"It has never been a more difficult or more exciting time to be a small business owner and FSB are working hard to support our members to realise their ambitions and to help remove barriers to their success.

"It is all hands on deck with the pandemic and other tricky issues and I'm delighted to have two really capable and connected area leads helping us deliver for members over the next three years."

Simon Williams, from York-based Yes Couriers, has been re-elected as FSB regional chair for the North East, Yorkshire and The Humber.

"York business owners in these key positions means a strong collective voice for our area regionally and nationally at FSB," added Carolyn.