Family Main Source of Advice for 400,000 Small Businesses

Guidance on new legislation is top concern for small business owners yet many fail to seek expert advice A new survey has revealed that one in 10 small and mid-sized business owners rely on advice from family members as their first port of call, despite their top worries concerning guidance on new legislation, finance and HR. The survey, conducted by Sage One, revealed that new legislation – such as the Auto-Enrolment Act – is the biggest concern for businesses with 20% of respondents stating so. This was followed by advice on finance (14%) and HR (13%). The majority of businesses seem confident in their company’s marketing strategy – with only 9% naming it as a top worry. Though the research shows that some small and medium-sized firms are seeking advice from experts – 56% looking to acco... »

Banks Forced to Help Rejected Small Businesses Find Alternative Finance Providers

George Osborne announces new legislation which will increase competition in lending market and facilitate small business growth Newly approved government legislation means leading banks are now required to share the details of rejected firms so they can be approached by alternative lenders. Chancellor George Osborne announced that the government will go ahead with legislation (which will come into force in the autumn) that will force banks to forward the details of small and mid-sized businesses they reject for finance to platforms that will connect them to alternative finance providers. The legislation is part of the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill and is in accordance with the government’s overall strategy to increase competition in the lending market and ensure further gr... »

Health & Safety

Businesses face Health and Safety penalties

Businesses that breach health and safety legislation will face increased penalties of up to £20,000 from January next year, the Government has warned. Under the Health and Safety Offences Act (2008), businesses that come before the lower courts for a breach of health and safety legislation risk a penalty of up to £20,000. Previously, the maximum was £5,000. The range of health and safety offences which carry a prison sentence will also be broadened from January 2008. For example, under the new rules, failing to comply with a prohibition notice or breaching a licensing requirement now carries a jail sentence of up to six months if tried in a lower court, or up to two years if tried in a Crown Court. Commenting on the new legislation, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) sp... »

New Regulations spark Red Tape concern

A raft of new business regulations introduced on 1 October will create more red tape for small firms, business groups have warned. New rules brought in on the October ‘common commencement date’ — one of two days in the year when government departments introduce new business regulations at the same time — included amendments to health and safety legislation, company law and consumer protection. One of the biggest changes is the increase in the national minimum wage, which rose from £5.52 to £5.73 an hour for an adult aged 22 and over. For workers aged 18 to 21, the rate increased from £4.60 per hour to £4.77 per hour. The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) called the minimum wage rises “modest and sensible” but pointed out that man... »