News

Our small business news section covers the latest reports, research, stories and updates on regulations that affect the UK’s small and medium enterprises.

Business As Usual for Entrepreneurs this Christmas

Just as many small businesses are getting ready to wind-down for the Christmas period spare a thought for the 10% of entrepreneurs who plan to work on Christmas Day. According to new research by UK Business Forums around 1 in 10 British entrepreneurs will be skipping the Queen’s speech and repeats of James Bond to roll their sleeves up and run their business. And even those business owners who do sit down to eat their Christmas dinner – about a third admitted that they are likely to be checking their company email or do some other business-related activities during Christmas Day. Just over a quarter, 27% of business people, said they’d only be taking the 25th and Boxing Day as their holiday, with business as usual for the men at work again on the 27th. However 30% of entr... »

Interest Rates Cut to 5.5%

Small Business News – 6th December 2007 The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has made the decision to cut the interest rate to 5.50% With the worldwide credit squeeze affecting conusmers and business alike the Bank of England’s MPC has made the rate cut amidst concerns over a potential economic downturn. Recent figures have indicated a slowdown in the property market and even a fall of 1.1% in property prices reported last month. In the last review of the interest rate, where rates were kept at 5.75%, the panel of the MPC voted 7-2 to hold the rates according to minutes released on 21 November. The signs of a potential economic slowdown were much less evident then. This morning’s rate drop is the first since August 2005 and is expected to be a very small ... »

Minimum Wage Crackdown on Rogue Businesses

Small Business News – 6th December 2007 "Rogue" businesses that refuse to pay their staff the National Minimum Wage are to face stiffer penalties. The government is to introduce almost unlimited penalties for the worst offenders and will be strengthening the powers of inspectors. The announcement comes as the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reforms (BERR) publishes the results of a consultation into strengthening enforcement of the National Minimum Wage and Employment Agency Standards. The results of the response to the consultation will form part of the Government’s Employment Bill, to be published tomorrow. Businesses and unions are said to be supportive of the proposed crackdown which is designed to bring greater fairness to both business and wor... »

Will Rate Cuts Boost Business?

Small Business News – 3rd December 2007 With the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee due to meet to announce the interest rate on Thursday 6th December, pressure is mounting on the Bank of England to cut interest rates ahead of an expected downturn in the economy next year. One economist, Patrick Minford, a former advisor to Maggie Thatcher & the Treasury and now professor at Cardiff Business School, has even suggested an interest rate slash of as much as 0.75%. Another expert, Tim Congdon of the London School of Economics, has called for a 0.5% cut in interest rates. Both economists believe that the MPC is taking too long to decide that what has already happened is not good for business. With rates at 5.75% since July, a number of economic bodies have railed the MP... »

Climate Change – Everyone’s Business

Tackling Climate Change is now an urgent and shared national priority for businesses, consumers and government together according to a report released on Monday. Senior representatives from every major British business sector came together to assess and identify the threats posed by climate change and to develop an action plan to tackle the challenges. The CBI’s Climate Change Task Force report is the result of 10 months work by Chief Executives and Chairmen of some of Britain’s biggest companies. Heading the team was BT Chief Exec, Ben Verwaayen. The analysis of whether the UK can hit its carbon targets by 2020 are deemed unlikely but to reach the goals set for 2050 is certainly achievable but only if urgent action is taken to act sooner rather than later. By acting quickly th... »

Capital Gains Tax Concession, Darling?

Alistair Darling, Chancellor of the Exchequer, has made indications that the government will make some concessions on Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reform over the next few weeks. In early October Alistair Darling announced changes to both Corporation Tax and Capital Gains Tax, hoping to simplify the system with a 2% cut in Corporate Tax, a  single 18% CGT rate and an end to taper relief. Instead, Mr Darling angered many small businesses and incurred the wrath of the CBI, with an open letter to Mr Darling expressing the potential damage to the country’s many enterprising small businesses. In a speech to the CBI conference on Tuesday Mr Darling continued to defend his position, once again relying upon his insistence that the tax system will be simplified as a result of his actions... »

Minimum Wage Hurts Local Retailers

The national minimum wage is taking its toll on local retailers according to a report into the health of high street retailers by the British Shops and Stores Association. The bssa warns that, ever since its introduction in 1999, the National Minimum Wage has increased beyond the level of inflation driving up staffing costs at an uneven rate and it echoes the CBI’s call for a modest rise in the minimum wage. The bssa report, Health of the High Street (3.4Mb PDF), urges action from the governement to ensure the survival of Britain’s high street shops and to continue their growth. The report includes a full review of the formula for setting the national minimum wage, raising the threshold for Small Business Rate Relief for single shops within high rental zones of UK high streets ... »

Terrorism & Flooding Force Business to Review Continuity Management

Business in the UK is now better prepared for disruption or disaster than it was two years ago, ago to a report today from BSI (British Standards’ Institute) yearly Business Barometer, published on Tuesday. BSI research reveals that 42% of businesses have reviewed their business continuity management planning following the terror alerts in both London and Glasgow in June this year and more than a third of businesses are better prepared after the summer’s floods. The research found that 81% of companies would continue to function normally for up to a week before feeling the serious effects of disruption or disaster and that 63% of businesses are well prepared for catastrophic IT failure compared to just 27% back in 2005. Around 50% of business are prepared for forced office relo... »

UK Best for Startups

Despite concerns over red tape, the UK is the best place for startups, according to research from the Financial Times. The study, which involved the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States, found that the British are reservedly enthusiastic about starting up business in the UK whereas there is pessimism amongst the Italians and Americans are strongly optimistic. Italians cite cynicism with the quality of government support, corruption and infrastructure problems as barriers to starting up in business. The French position on starting up business was more mediocre suggesting that the new premiere, Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposed reforms were doing little to change the attitudes of the French that business startups are tough for the budding Gallic entrepreneur. After 10 years... »

Small Business gets Raw Deal on Energy

Small Businesses are getting a raw deal on their electricity according to new findings from energywatch, the gas & electric energy watchdog. Energywatch receives around 2,000 calls a month from small businesses and the rate has increased by 22% since last year. 90% of the calls received by energywatch are complaints with billing (61%), problems with transfer to a new supplier (24%), and issues with the way in which a contract has been sold (6%) One particular problem small businesses have is lacking the ability to be able to compare tariffs between energy suppliers as the information is often not forthcoming. League tables published by energywatch show small business who are the best and worst suppliers. Not one of the "big 6" suppliers received even a satisfactory rating fro... »

Page 299 of 304«297298299300301»