Federation of Small Businesses

Government Urged To Help Small Businesses ‘Go Green’ And Help UK Meet Emissions Target

Government Urged To Help Small Businesses ‘Go Green’ And Help UK Meet Emissions Target

The government has been urged to incentivise more small businesses to embrace green energy and help the UK meet its emissions target, in a new report released by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The Power Of Price: Energising Small Business In The Next UK Carbon Plan suggests that most enterprises would welcome such changes – with 86% already believing the UK is too reliant on imported energy, with 61% admitting powering their business is a significant cost. 10% of all small firms now generate their own energy on site, with the possibility of selling a surplus back to the grid an added revenue opportunity for many. Indeed, an environmental conscience appears to already exist in millions of UK small firms as 40% have already installed efficient lights, 23% have implemented sw... »

Commercial Disputes Costing Small Firms £11.6bn A Year, With Late Payments To Blame

Commercial Disputes Costing Small Firms £11.6bn A Year, With Late Payments To Blame

Commercial disputes are costing UK small businesses £11.6bn a year, and late payments are to blame – according to a report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Their report Tied Up: Unravelling the dispute resolution process for small firms has revealed that 70% of small businesses have had at least one commercial dispute in their lifetime, with the average amount under contention being £18,000. When asked about what was the reason for the dispute, 70% of survey respondents cited late or non-payments as the main factor. In terms of resolving the issue, 43% of firms engage in formal or informal negotiations with the offending party, 19% take the matter to the civil courts, while 8% seek an alternative resolution. Despite many firms taking the required action, 17% of respondents say ... »

Planning Delays Slow Business Growth says FSB

Britain’s expanding small companies are being held back by the ongoing failure of the planning system, according to new research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Its latest Voice of Small Business survey finds that 69% of small businesses have to wait more than the maximum eight weeks allowed by ministers for local authorities to decide on most planning applications. And less than a third of all applications (30%) were decided within the allocated timeframe — despite Government promises of a faster and fairer planning system. The delays cannot be blamed on complex planning applications says the FSB — one-third of applications were for a change of use of existing business premises and a quarter were for minor improvements and changing signage. Less than a third of applications... »

Small Businesses Move Faster on Late Payers

Small firms are putting the pressure on and chasing overdue invoices more quickly than they were a year ago, new research has revealed. According to debt-recovery law firm Lovetts, small businesses are issuing Letters Before Action (LBA) 33 days sooner than during the same period in 2010. LBAs are typically sent out in an attempt to secure payment before legal action is started to recover a debt. The law firm said that the number of claims issued to recover payment had risen by 9 per cent, while the total value of claims had also increased by a quarter in the past year. Results were based on analysis of LBAs issued and claims made on behalf of Lovetts’ clients. Charles Wilson, Lovetts’ chairman and managing director, said the findings echoed business behaviour last seen just before the 200... »

Budget Plan: Too Much Pressure on Small Businesses

It is unrealistic to expect small firms to lead the economic recovery on their own, the Federation of Small Business (FSB) has warned, after the Prime Minister said that the only strategy for growth was to get behind small businesses. Speaking at the spring Conservative Party conference, David Cameron said that the Budget on 23 March would be the most pro–growth this country has seen for a generation and would take on the enemies of enterprise. However, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned that small firms will not be able to lead the UK’s economic recovery without strong Government support. “There is a lot of expectation and pressure being put on small firms.” said FSB spokeswoman, Prue Watson. “They are willing to do it, but it’s up to the Government to c... »

Start-up Tax Exemption Must be Extended Nationwide, urges FSB

The exemption on employees’ National Insurance Contributions (NICs) for start-ups, announced in the emergency Budget, should be extended to new businesses in the South East and East of England, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said. Chancellor George Osborne announced the tax break in the June Budget to encourage start-ups in regions where the private sector is not strong. “For the next three years, anyone who sets up a new business outside London, the South East and the Eastern region will be exempt from £5,000 of employer National Insurance payments, for each of their first ten employees hired,” he said. However, the FSB has warned that excluding the South and East from the NICs holiday for new firms would deter start-ups from setting up there, as well as preventi... »

SMEs Sign “no NIC rise” Petition

SMEs Sign “no NIC rise” Petition

Business groups have called on small firms to sign an online petition demanding that the Government scraps its planned National Insurance Contributions (NICs) rise in April 2011. As part of its efforts to shrink the large public spending deficit, the Government intends to raise NICs by 1 percentage point in April 2011. But the decision has angered business leaders who see it as a “tax on jobs”, which could jeopardise an upturn in the labour market by discouraging businesses from taking on new staff. The British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the Confederation of British Industry and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) are among the organisations all opposed to the increase. “We urge the Government to work with busin... »

Redundancy

Employers take steps to avoid Redundancies

Businesses are avoiding redundancies by putting a hold on recruitment and cutting back on agency workers, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD). A survey of nearly 900 businesses, carried out by the CIPD and accountancy firm KPMG, revealed that 50% have brought in a recruitment freeze, while 44% have terminated temporary or agency workers contracts to prevent making cutbacks to in–house staff. CIPD public policy adviser, Gerwyn Davies said: “Measures such as recruitment freezes, shedding temporary workers and introducing short–term working are clearly not without pain, but they can often be preferable to redundancies” “There can be a high cost to making staff redundant, as letting skilled staff go can risk low morale among th... »

Alistair Darling

Government package leaves banks without lending excuses

Banks have been left with no excuses not to lend to small firms, after a second finance package was announced by the Government, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The FSB said that the initiatives, which include Government insurance for banks against expected bad debts, should help to free up more cash to lend to businesses. Earlier this year, the Government announced a plan to guarantee up to £20 billion of loans to small and medium–sized firms to help them survive the economic downturn. FSB head of parliamentary affairs Stephen Alambritis said: “The last package gave specific amounts of money for small businesses to access. This week’s package will make banks more comfortable with their own viability so they can release funds and give more mon... »

Credit Card

Calls for Cap on Credit Card Charges

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the Government to cap interest rates on credit cards to help small firms survive the recession. FSB national chairman John Wright said putting a ceiling on charges would reduce business costs and free up much needed cashflow. Research from the FSB revealed that 26% of entrepreneurs use their personal credit card to finance their business and 23% use a company credit card. “With interest rates at 1.5% and falling, the Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England must look into capping interest rates charged on credit cards,” said Wright. “A cap on interest rates would not only reduce business costs but give consumers a real boost and cut the cost of borrowing,” he added. However, the Department for Business... »

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