Deadline Approaches for Queen’s Awards Entries

Businesses enjoying outstanding commercial success have until 30 October to enter the prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, which have been described as the equivalent of a “knighthood for businesses”. The awards, which are free to enter, are open to UK-based firms with at least two full-time employees and a record of commercial success in: international trade innovation sustainable development. For a chance to win the international trade accolade, businesses must demonstrate substantial growth in overseas earnings. To win the innovation award, entrants need to prove substantial development in business performance. In the sustainable development category, firms must be able to show they have advanced or continued their achievements of social or environmental objectiv... »

Dell Small Business Excellence Awards

Dell Small Business Excellence Awards: 10 UK Finalists

Dell and the British Chambers of Commerce today announced the 10 UK finalists for the second annual Dell Small Business Excellence Award. The award recognises companies using technology to better serve customers and grow. Just as Michael Dell did 25 years ago in starting his own small business, award honourees understand that listening and delivering on behalf of customers is instrumental to business success. Today, the award has expanded to 13 countries worldwide, honoured more than 370 companies, and is an important source of inspiration given today’s global economic crisis. UK finalists receive a Dell business-class laptop, one-year membership to an Accredited Chamber of Commerce, and go on to compete for the national award. Announced in September, the national winner will receive... »

Rates Steady in UK and Europe

Rates Steady in UK and Europe

Interest rates remain steady in both the UK and the European Union. The Bank of England‘s Monetary Policy Committee has voted to keep the country’s base interest rate at 5% after the cut early last month. The move to keep rates at 5% was widely anticipated in light of inflationary pressures and fairly difficult economic data. Whilst the UK has seemed fairly resilient to the effects of the global credit squeeze, there are still factors that may yet play their part: Manufacturing figures fell in March as did retail sales, raw material costs are rising and the financial squeeze is being felt by both small business and consumers alike. Of course, whilst the rate freeze was largely expected there were calls for a cut once again. The British Chambers of Commerce, who claimed that mos... »

Act Simplifies Company Law

Another round of measures from the Companies Act 2006 are due to take place on 6 April. The Companies Act 2006 is being phased-in over a 3 year period with the next set of measures coming into force on the 6th April. Measures currently in force include: Companies have the option to make greater use of electronic communications with shareholders. Private companies don’t need to have an AGM (Annual General Meeting) unless they opt to actually do so. The new parts of the act that come into force on the 6th are particularly relevant to accountants and solicitors and cover: Accounting & reporting requirements for small businesses are being merged into a single set of regulations to make matters simpler for small business and small business advisers. Private companies are no longer req... »

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... »

Long-Term Care Insurance

LONG-TERM CARE: WHAT, WHEN AND HOW? Introduction This factsheet provides information on the different types of long-term care that an individual may experience. It then explores how much such care is likely to cost, how such costs may be met, and explains the role that long-term care insurance can play as a planned way of meeting all or some of the expense. Long-Term Care Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions What is long-term care? What is the likelihood of my needing care? Does long-term care just mean care in a nursing home? How much care will be required at home? Will my spouse/family be able to look after me? Will the state help me meet the costs of care at home? How much does care at home cost? What happens when it is too difficult to stay at home? Do I have a choice of accommodation... »

Family Protection

As well as protecting the house and the cars, protecting the family should be high on the agenda when considering risks Such protection can be arranged by setting up suitable insurance or assurance policies. What is insurance? Insurance is concerned with protection against risk (an event that may or may not happen). Insurance policies can be obtained to cover virtually any contingency. General policies cover more common events (eg fire, theft or natural disasters like weather conditions). More specific contingencies need underwriting by specialist insurers. As insurance covers risk, policies are written for a period of time or for an amount of cover. The period may extend for one day or several years, but is usually renewed annually. What is assurance? Assurance is a protection against cer... »

Beat the Burglar

The feeling that someone else has been in your home can live with you for a long time. The advice here will help stop you being the next burglary victim. Doors Outside doors should have deadlocks which at least conform to BS3621. These locks can only be opened by key. A burglar cannot just use a plastic card to push back the tongue of the lock or break a glass panel and reach in to open it. Doors which you usually lock from the inside – for example the back door – should also be fitted with bolts. But locks and bolts are only as strong as the door and the frame to which they are fitted. So check the woodwork and replace it if it is at all weak or rotten. Double doors should have bolts (preferably security bolts with removable keys) at the top and bottom of both doors as well as... »

What Type of Plastic?

If you decide to use a card to buy goods or services use this list to decide which one is best for you. There are hundreds of cards available but most fall into one of these categories. To add further confusion you’ll find that card issuers offer gold, platinum and ordinary cards – these are the same types of cards with different conditions and benefits. Debit cards These take money directly from your bank account, they’re not credit cards but an alternative to cash or writing a cheque. Linked to your bank account, debit cards often also work in cash machines and as a cheque guarantee card. Switch and Visa operate these schemes for the banks. Charge cards If you use a charge card you’ll be sent a bill each month which you usually have to pay in full – so again... »

Banks Online

With today’s busy lifestyles financial transactions can be conducted via the phone, on your PC and even through interactive TV. Here we have provided a list of the Banks providing online facilities. Abbey National plc Alliance & Leicester Bank of Ireland Bank of Scotland (HBOS) Barclays Bristol & West plc Cahoot Charcolonline Citibank Co-operative Bank, The Egg First Direct Bank HSBC Bank plc Halifax Online Intelligent Finance Lloyds TSB Merrill Lynch HSBC NatWest Bank Newcastle Building Society Norwich & Peterborough Building Society Royal Bank of Scotland plc, The Smile Tesco Online Banking Virgin One Woolwich Open Plan Yorkshire Bank »

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