The branch now has more than 1,000 members and its committee has hailed 2006 as “a year of unprecedented success.”

The increase reflects a nationwide rise in FSB membership, which now numbers more than 200,000. North Bucks branch chairman David Maidment said: “With greater size comes greater influence, and our lobbying of central and local government has had a significantly greater impact.

“We aim to continue the good work over the coming year. We want to ensure that the importance of small businesses to the economy and community is better understood.”

He added that more than half of the private workforce in North Buckinghamshire was employed in small businesses. “Companies employing them contribute the majority of the taxes raised from businesses. We feel that it is about time these crucial small businesses were taken seriously.”

The branch has also been active in helping small businesses to improve their business by providing networking events that enables businesses to built new contacts.

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