Recent Research

The Forum polls members on a number of issues to make sure we accurately represent the views and concerns of small businesses trading in the UK today.

  • Referendum is a quarterly member research paper, which means we can lobby effectively on your behalf and develop the services your business needs. The next research paper is due to be sent to our members in mid October.

  • Join one of our member panels which focus on specific areas such as employment, health and safety or tax.

We use this information to inform our policy position, consultation responses and lobbying. We are always keen to ensure any member can contribute to our panels or provide evidence to support our consultation responses.

We are also able to offer occasional meetings with senior Ministers to raise issues directly. If you are an interested in receiving questionnaires in any of the areas we cover or simply want to offer a one-off case study, email

Recent research

Tax and budget

There is a balance to be struck between raising taxes to repay the national debt and leaving more money in the hands of small businesses to promote wider economic growth. Our tax and budget panel looks regularly at the impact of the taxation system on smaller employers. 
Download the latest tax and budget report »

Cash flow and finance

Access to finance remains a top priority for our members. With less well known banks increasing their lending to small business in recent times, competition on the high street is improving, and there are now a wide variety of alternative lending platforms offering new opportunities to businesses.

Download the accessing finance research »

Health and safety

Safety in the workplace has been put into the spotlight in the last two years with the Young Report and subsequent Lofstedt review. Our research constantly assesses how health and safety policy could evolve to put less responsibility on business owners.

Download the latest health and safety report »

Employment law

Our employment law panel helps us to campaign for changes that will help smaller employers dealing with the complex issue of employment law. Our latest panel looked at the burden of employment law on employers.

Download the latest employment law report »

Skills and training

Our research studies the impact of government interventions in apprenticeships and work trials, as well as considering the issues and incentives needed by businesses to recruit.

Download the latest skills and training report »

If you'd like to have your say in the next Referendum ballot and have your views represented to local and national government, join the Forum.

For more information on our research, contact our Thomas Parry, Research Projects Manager at