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Small Businesses Could Generate £34bn for the Economy by 2021, On One Condition

Small Businesses Could Generate £34bn for the Economy by 2021, On One Condition

UK small businesses could unlock £34bn for the economy by 2021, and generate 194,000 new jobs, if they were able to secure the right loan. Latest research conducted by Barclays with 794 small and medium enterprises suggests that 64% of small business could increase their turnover if they had access to adequate loan facilities. Despite acknowledging that applying for a loan could provide a growth boost, 30% of the small and medium-sized businesses surveyed said they had no plans to enquire about a loan. With ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Brexit decision, 24% of small firms shared the view that it will become harder to secure a loan this year while 20% said they already believed Brexit had impacted upon their current or future funding requirements. In response to the findings, Barclays... »

Seven in 10 UK Small Businesses Expect Zero Revenue Growth in 2017

Seven in 10 UK Small Businesses Expect Zero Revenue Growth in 2017

71% of UK small-to-medium businesses expect revenue to either drop or stay at the same level over the next 12 months, according to new data from  RSA. Of the 1,000 small business owners RSA surveyed 32% cited the current climate of economic uncertainty as the reason for being sceptical about future revenue growth. 51% of small firms were also found to share the opinion that the government is not doing enough to facilitate the growth of small to medium enterprises in the country; only 22% said they felt satisfactorily supported. Small businesses based in the South West of England appear to be the most concerned about business prospects in 2017 – 80% of small firms  in this region expect a standstill or decline in revenue growth. In fact, 40% of South West-based small business owners a... »

Top of Business Owners’ Christmas Lists? A Better Relationship with The Bank

Top of Business Owners’ Christmas Lists? A Better Relationship with The Bank

34% of the UK’s small business owners have said they feel disconnected from their bank in new research from Hitachi Capital’s British Business Barometer. The survey of 1,006 small business owners found that 32% of those running a small firm believe banks should show a greater willingness to lend growth capital, while 28% wished for more transparent fees and charges. Others argued that banks should offer tailored flexible finance terms (26%) and more competitive lending rates (26%), while 30% of small business owners in the East of England said they would like their banks to have more specialist sector knowledge. Gavin Wraith-Carter, managing director at Hitachi Capital Business Finance, commented: “Despite the concerns that small businesses have felt towards banks and lenders, they do want... »

£1.82bn Now Owed by UK Businesses in Late Corporation Tax

£1.82bn Now Owed by UK Businesses in Late Corporation Tax

Despite the fact that UK businesses benefit from one of the lowest corporation tax rates of all major economies – 20% for companies with profits of up to £1.5m – business owners are struggling to pay their Corporation Tax on time and now owe £1.82bn in late tax payments. This figure, reported by Funding Options in its latest research for 2016, is a 15% increase on 2015 (£1.59bn) and suggests that cashflow pressures are growing for companies. With businesses already unable to pay Corporation Tax when due, Funding Options has predicted that this issue will worsen over the next year given the slowdown in the UK economy since the Brexit vote. Business owners who are concerned about falling in Corporation Tax arrears have been encouraged to consider using alternative funding options... »

74% of UK Businesses Have Inadequate Cyber Security Measures

74% of UK Businesses Have Inadequate Cyber Security Measures

74% of UK businesses are not doing enough to protect against cyber-attacks and data breaches, according to a survey of 500 IT managers by business solutions provider Office Depot. Skills shortages and poor allocation of resources seem to be major factors, with 81% of managers of the view that their businesses would benefit from having more time and resources to address cyber security problems. IT managers have claimed that over 33% of their time is spent dealing with low level issues such as fixing printers and document recovery, leaving little time for more complex tasks such as data security. See also: How to arm your business against cyber security attacks The allocation of these low level tasks to senior IT professionals is estimated to cost companies more than £4.2bn every year – mone... »

Just 42% of Employees Feel Encouraged to Drive Innovation in the Workplace 

Just 42% of Employees Feel Encouraged to Drive Innovation in the Workplace 

Only 42% of UK workers feel they have a voice in driving change and innovation in the workplace, significantly less than workers in France (63%) and Spain (57%), according to new research from BMC Software. The survey of 1,206 employees across Europe found that just 54% of UK employees feel inspired in their jobs, compared to 74% of workers in Spain, 73% in France and 66% in Germany. It would appear that many businesses are failing to capitalise on the creativity of their staff, with 67% of the employees surveyed unable to offer ideas at work, and 57% of the view that management are not receptive to new ideas. Just 56% of employees cited a formal process for submitting ideas to management. A lack of collaboration in the workplace was cited as a key factor in innovation deficiency – 29% of ... »

2018 Could See UK Small Businesses Hit with £52bn in Cybersecurity Fines

2018 Could See UK Small Businesses Hit with £52bn in Cybersecurity Fines

The UK’s small businesses could face up to £52bn in regulatory fines for breaches of cyber security at the mercy of incoming EU legislation, according to findings from the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC). In 2018, regulatory fines will be set at 4% of global turnover, up to a maximum of €20m – a huge increase on the current level of £500,000. Last year, 74% of small and medium businesses reported a security breach, resulting in an estimated £908m in fines to the European regulator. If breaches remain at 2015 levels, fines could multiply 57 times to £52bn – an average of £13,000 per company. The report warns that fines are just one impact for small firms, alongside damage to reputation, disruption to business and loss of revenue. Jeremy King, international director at PCI SSC... »

Lack of Workplace Benefits Puts Employees off Small Businesses

Lack of Workplace Benefits Puts Employees off Small Businesses

An estimated six million employees are missing out on employee benefits, new research from Grass Roots Employee Solutions has revealed. The study revealed that 39% of small businesses do not receive any form of employee benefit compared to 24% in larger companies. As 82% of employees said benefits would encourage them to stay in their jobs, this shortfall could hinder staff retention and even put employees off accepting job offers at small and medium enterprises. Although one in five small companies were found to offer some kind of employee benefit, a third of businesses surveyed said they had no benefits strategy in place to retain employees. 54% of small companies currently rely on financial rewards like cash bonuses and high salaries to attract talent yet this doesn’treflect the benefit... »

National Living Wage is Dampening Small Business Profits

National Living Wage is Dampening Small Business Profits

The latest report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has raised concerns that the National Living Wage (NLW) is having a negative effect on the UK’s small businesses. Since the introduction of the NLW wage increase to a minimum of £7.20 an hour in April, 59% of small business owners said they have had to absorb the costs by taking a loss in profits. Although many small businesses are managing under the pressure to pay higher wages, 32% of small businesses have reported increased wage costs as a direct result of the NLW, whilst 19% say wage costs went up significantly. Some small business owners are having to take more drastic action in order to ensure they can meet NLW requirements with 35% increasing their prices, 24% reducing staff hours, 23% cutting investment, and 16% recruiti... »

Entrepreneurs Using Apps in Record Numbers

Entrepreneurs Using Apps in Record Numbers

The majority of small businesses are using apps to run their business, according to a study released by Intuit Inc this week. The study, which included 2,000 small business owners in the US, Canada, the UK and Australia, revealed that 68% of small businesses regularly use technology such as apps and cloud-based tools to operate more efficiently, freeing up time to focus on growth. Despite the increased use of apps and the cloud, there were a number of business owners who cited issues with the current technology available. Around two-in-five business owners said there were too many business-related apps to choose from, 41% were unsure of which apps were best for their business, and 39% were concerned about the cost of integration and training staff to use apps. Nevertheless, the increased u... »

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