New head of policy appointed at FSB
Recruitment boss Tina McKenzie has been appointed policy chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).
Ms McKenzie, managing director of Staffline Group, succeeds Wilfred Mitchell as he steps down after 20 years.
And the FSB has also announced other new appointments of major business people to its policy unit.
They include Budget Energy's chief executive Eleanor McAvoy, Core Systems boss Patricia O'Hagan, Sliderobes chief and angel investor Mervyn McCall and Conor Devine, the founder of GDP Partnership. Ms McKenzie, who was also a candidate for political party NI21 in 2014, said she hoped to bring the FSB into the heart of the Brexit debate.
"FSB has always excelled at 'reactive' policy work - responding to consultations and the proposals of government and the parties," she said.
"However, there is an opportunity to do much more proactive policy and advocacy - developing policies to improve the environment to help local businesses to thrive.
"This will be especially important as the Brexit negotiations move to their next phase, and I am keen for FSB to be at the heart of this debate, proposing effective solutions to help business to capitalise on the changes that are coming."
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She said the FSB had "enriched" its policy unit with the appointment of business owners.
"This new group will play a major role on behalf of all our smaller businesses and we look forward to the challenge," she added.
Ms McKenzie's appointment means NI's four key business lobby groups - the Institute of Directors, Chamber of Commerce and Industry, CBI and FSB - are all headed by women.