SMEs retain staff

Government urged to help SMEs retain staff

> Small firms urgently need Government support to help them avoid redundancies, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) has warned. The business group has called for the Government to switch its focus from encouraging firms to recruit staff to enabling them to keep hold of good employees. Since the introduction of the Government’s golden hello scheme on 6th April, businesses that recruit and train applicants that have been out of work for six months or more will receive a payment of up to £2,500. But the FPB has warned this is not enough to help small firms. “It is important to remember that recruitment is still taking place, and for these employers this scheme is very welcome, but most small businesses are concentrating on trying to keep hold of their skilled employees,&rdqu... »

Analysts predict short-term budget fixes to help SMEs

Analysts predict short-term Budget fixes to help SMEs

> The Chancellor is likely to introduce short-term fixes to ease small firms’ cashflow problems when he makes his Budget speech on 22 April, independent think tank the Tenon Forum has predicted. Speculating on what this month’s Budget might bring for small firms, Tenon’s head of tax, Andrew Jupp, said that the success of the Government’s Business Payment Support Service – which allows businesses to delay tax payments – meant it was probable that the Chancellor would announce further tax management measures to help ailing businesses. “We would not be surprised to see more being done in this area and HM Treasury has indicated it is agreeable to this,” said Jupp. “We would like to see businesses able to access the tax benefits of trading l... »

Workers - the best SME resource

SMEs – don’t drain your talent pool

> The primary concern for all businesses at the moment is survival, but ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is advising today not to sacrifice long term potential with short term thinking as its report Perspectives on Talent Management in Challenging Times is published. Jamie Lyon, Senior Manager – Professional Development at ACCA, explains why: “At the moment there is an understandable concern in businesses of all sizes regarding the current global economic conditions. ACCA’s concern is that these businesses will react with short term measures to cut cost rather than considering the businesses long-term future. “Even in these difficult times, staff cuts should always be a last resort. Now is a good time for businesses to invest in their curren... »

SMEs can’t keep up with tax law

SMEs can’t keep up with tax law

> Cash-strapped small businesses are losing out on the chance to defer a potential £7.7bn of tax payments due to poor finance skills and a failure to seek out professional advice. New research for the AAT, the leading professional education and membership body for accounting staff, found that an unnecessarily complex tax regime and a lack of finance training is compounding the impact of the recession, at a time when the SME sector – considered the ‘backbone’ of the economy – needs to make every penny count. Common mistakes which cost firms cash include incurring fines for late filing of accounts; failing to claim Business Rate Relief and ignorance of opportunities such as the ‘Time to Pay’ scheme, which allows those companies unable to pay their ta... »

SMEs lack faith in the budget

SMEs lack faith in the budget

> Small businesses are reported to be lacking faith in the upcoming Budget to get them through the recession A quarter of small businesses fear going under if the economy doesn’t turn around in the next year while a massive 75% feel the UK government should do more to help, according to a new survey. In research conducted by Intuit, the provider of QuickBooks business and financial management solutions, small businesses expressed their disillusionment at government attempts to address their needs. More specifically, only 10% of respondents believe that the annual Budget in April 2009 will include measures that will have a positive impact on their businesses. Furthermore, relatively few small businesses have seen or expect to see actual benefits from the initiatives announce... »

VAT Rate Change Not Helping SMEs

VAT Rate Change Not Helping SMEs

Small Business News – 5th March 2009 Eighty-two percent believe that the rate change was not a good idea; ninety-eight percent believe that the rate change will not result in any material increase to business 82% of SMEs feel that the Chancellor’s VAT rate cut was not a good idea, according to a survey conducted by mid-market business software house Access Accounting. The findings of the survey will make difficult reading for the government as it looks at ways to stimulate the suffering economy. The Chancellor’s 2.5% VAT rate cut has been in effect for almost three months, yet 51% of businesses say that the change is not doing enough to stimulate the economy. 27% believe that it was a good start, but that the Chancellor needs to do more. Overwhelmingly, 98% feel that the ... »

SMEs to the Rescue?

The Future of the Economy: SMEs to the Rescue?

Small Business News – 17th February 2009 All Party Parliamentary Group discusses UK Small Businesses in the 21st Century Doug Richard, entrepreneur and former ‘Dragon’ from Dragons’ Den, attended ACCA’s (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) All Party Parliamentary Small Business Group (APPSBG) recently to discuss the ‘future of small businesses in the UK in the 21st Century’. At the meeting, Mr Richard said SMEs can significantly help rescue the UK from its current recession. He argued that Britain must quickly become the entrepreneurial, innovative country it once was by encouraging self-employment. Doug Richard described the two recent ‘lost generations’ – people in late 40s and 50s who have lost their jobs and ma... »

SMEs Who Made it Through the 90s Recession

A focus on rigorous business planning combined with the ability to adapt and the determination to succeed has been identified as the most successful approach for small businesses to survive the current economic downturn, according to research by O2. With reports suggesting up to 30,000 small businesses will go bust in 2009,* O2 questioned a cross-section of its small business customers who successfully steered their businesses through the early 1990s recession to find out what they did to get them through it. Ten top tips emerge from O2’s research to help small business customers faced with a challenging year in 2009, especially those who have not previously experienced a recession. Simon Devonshire, Head of small business marketing at O2 said: "We know how much small businesses... »

Help is at hand for SMEs

Help is at hand for SMEs

Small businesses are the backbone of Britain’s economy but these tough times mean a bumpy ride for many. For start-ups, the climate can appear especially daunting. Fortunately there is a wealth of business advice, information and help available for SMEs that need assistance in areas ranging from finance to business networking, from telecoms to training. By logging on to the webchat with Karen Hanton, one of Britain’s leading entrepreneurs, you can find out how to locate it, how to make the most of it, and how to make big savings for your business. Named as one of today’s top 30 entrepreneurs and the founder of Toptable Restaurants, Karen understands the problems that today’s small businesses face, and will be on hand with expert advice. Karen will coach start-ups an... »

SME R&D Tax Scheme Extension Introduced

UK small businesses can claim more tax relief on their research and development (R&D) costs following the expansion of the Government’s SME R&D tax relief scheme on 1st August. The SME R&D tax relief scheme has been extended so that SMEs can claim 175% relief on their qualifying expenditure on R&D for amounts incurred after 1st August – compared with 150% for expenses incurred before this date. The scheme has also been extended to include firms with up to 500 employees, and either turnover not exceeding €100 million or an annual balance sheet not exceeding €86 million. It was previously only available to firms with fewer than 250 staff. Small firms in any sector can claim the relief as long as they are seeking to achieve an advance in science or techno... »

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