SMEs get better deals on unsecured loans says Barclays expert

A leading expert on small business financing has said that most small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) would pay less if they applied for unsecured loans rather than using an asset-backed finance product.

Head of Barclays Business, Steve Cooper, said that many SMEs were getting "a bad deal" by using asset-based lending to make acquisitions, generally because the bank would be happy to make the loan even without the security of th... Continue Reading

Government contracts opened up to SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises are to be put in a better position to apply for public sector contracts, through new measures announced by the Cabinet Office.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that the move would open up "billions of pounds' worth of new business opportunities" to the country's small businesses and will stop government contracts from being monopolised by big businesses.

He said there would b... Continue Reading

New fund aimed to encourage franchisees

A £100 million fund has been launched by the Royal Bank of Scotland, aimed at supporting people who wish to set up new franchise businesses.

It is thought that the fund - which has fees of just one per cent and allows for capital repayment holidays - could help create as many as 1,800 Continue Reading

Buyer finally found for Scottish hotel?

A Scottish hotel with a storied, celebrity-filled past is on the verge of being sold, more than half a year after it first went into administration.

A representative for administrators, KPMG, said that the four-star Auchen Castle Hotel - which frequently hosted the Beatles during their heyday - is finally nearing a deal, after a new prospective buyer emerged on Monday.

The potential new owner is likely to take the pict... Continue Reading

Restaurant chain acquired by pub company

Pub giant Greene King has acquired restaurant chain Cloverleaf Restaurants for £56 million.

The pub company said that the acquisition will allow the business to expand, adding another 12 sites to its portfolio.

The purchase will also help Greene King to reposition itself towards retail outlets concentrating on food rather than drink. Greene King said it hoped that the purchase would help it to 'capitalise on the gr... Continue Reading

New fund launched to help SMEs in the North West

The £35 million North West Fund for Business Loans is aiming to give a lifeline to small firms who are finding it tough to secure lending from banks.

The new fund is one of six that have been set up by the North West Fund (NWF), over the last few months in a bid to offer a total of £184.8 million to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) over the coming five years.

The funding, which will be awarded to SMEs in the... Continue Reading

New look for

We thought it high-time for a makeover of the Bizsale website, as it’s pretty much had the same design since around 2005.

So long the blues, and welcome in an enviro-friendly sea-green, live-lime and orange combination.

As well as cosmetic changes, behind the scenes we have moved the site to a more sophisticated management system that will allow us to add new content with much more ease. We have a lot of new info... Continue Reading

Enterprise Inns to sell off up to 500 pubs in 2011

Pub giant Enterprise Inns has announced plans to sell off a further 400 to 500 pubs throughout 2011.

Solihull-based Enterprise is hoping to net around £125 million from the sale of the pubs. it plans to use these to alleviate the losses affecting its operating profits, which were brought on by extreme weather conditions at the end of last year.

The pub company made public its plans through an interim statement release... Continue Reading

Small businesses in North East could face crisis in six months

Representatives of small businesses in the north east of England have warned the government that they could be facing a major crisis in just six months if essential costs keep rising.

The Federation of Small Businesses' North East regional organiser, David Longstaff, said rising inflation and unprecedented fuel costs were threatening the whole economy of the region. He said a fuel price stabilizer should urgently be put in plac... Continue Reading

Remaining pubs to be sold as Cougar Leisure enters administration

Pub and music venue owner, Cougar Leisure, has fallen into administration despite a last ditch attempt to sell off some of its assets.

Last June, the Chorley-based company sold off 11 of its pubs and bars through Christie & Co, including the Townhouse pub located in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, to North-east based pub operator Wear Inns, as well as pubs in Romford, Liverpool and Edinburgh.

Following financial difficulti... Continue Reading

Banks 'nearing agreement' to improve lending to SMEs

A quartet of the biggest banks in the country are moving closer to an agreement with the government to lend up to £180 million to small businesses in 2011.

The agreement, known as 'Project Merlin,' is aiming to secure a commitment from banks to ensure improved lending to small and medium-sized businesses.

HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and Barclays are the banks involved in the talks, which could culmi... Continue Reading

Business sale prompts huge windfalls for employees

Employees of pioneering Scottish micro-screen company, Forth Dimension Displays, have landed windfalls averaging £20,000 after the company was sold for £7 million to US-based LCD developer, Kopin.

The company had established an exemplary international reputation for its high-resolution screens and simulation technology. They signed a landmark deal last year with the US Army to provide simulator training helmets for helicopter pilo... Continue Reading

Acquisition strengthens Acal's electronics division

Technology and electronics firm Acal has strengthened its electronics division with the acquisition of a provider of electronic communications and fibre optic components.

Acal, which specialises in supplying wireless LAN equipment, web servers, magnetics and satellite communication systems, has acquired CompoTron from BW Holding.

CompoTron, which supplied its goods to the European industrial electronic markets, was pu... Continue Reading

Hotdog firm acquired out of administration

Following its administration late last year, hotdog manufacturer Westler Foods has been acquired by a new company.

The Malton, Yorkshire-based business - which produced food products in canned and pouched form for brands including Chesswood, BigMex, Westlers and Multi Menu - originally fell into administration due to a funding gap linked to its pension scheme.

Howard Smith and Mark Firmin of KPMG's restructuring p... Continue Reading

Pub sale restrictions to be reviewed

A legal loophole that allows breweries to prevent the re-opening of pubs they have sold off is to be reviewed by the government.

Communities and Local Government Minister, Bob Neill, announced the review into the 'restrictive covenants' after groups of supporters of local pubs claimed that large breweries were using them to limit competition.

He said that changes to the restrictive covenants would allow local ... Continue Reading