Businesses in London are more optimistic now about their prospects for 2010 than they've been in the last 18 months. So say pollsters from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and KPMG, who have unveiled the results of their latest survey of firms in the capital.
Most companies are still cautious about future investment, though, and they have their doubts about London's longer-term status as a world city. An overly b... Continue Reading
Small business owners have awaited the chancellor's pre-Budget report with bated breath and now Mr Darling has spoken. The main proposals you'll want to take away from his last such report before a general election include:
• A six-month extension of the £1.3 billion Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme for small firms – that takes it to September 2010. First unveiled in March, the scheme means guaranteed 75% loans to e... Continue Reading
Get set for a bloodbath on your local high street after Christmas: a retail bloodbath of the insolvency kind, that is.
This year's drop in spending, alongside rising unemployment, means there's another wave of administrations on the horizon, much like the one witnessed in the opening months of 2009.
You'll remember the slew of closures that saw British high streets say goodbye to Woolworths, the music outl... Continue Reading
Do you own a small business? Having problems raising finance? NatWest and RBS are here to help! And all through the launch of a new "SME customer charter".
The banks say they're aiming to boost support for their 1.2 million business banking customers with the charter, which promises to lower overdraft rates, make fees more transparent and extend free banking so more start-ups have a chance to establish themselves.
"... Continue Reading
Give us a Break: that's what the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is urging the government in light of proposals to change the tax rules on furnished holiday lettings.
Under the changes, eight in ten small firms in the holiday sector could go bust, the FSB says. And all because taking away their tax breaks is likely to force job losses, stifle trade and cost the tourism industry millions.
As the situation stands... Continue Reading
Pub and hotel owner Thwaites – recognisable to most as the brains behind the Lancaster Bomber and Nutty Black ales – has put up eight pubs for sale.
But the brewery giant has been criticised for specifying that prospective buyers of the East Lancashire outlets cannot continue to run them as pubs. The company's pubs for sale include Padiham's Victoria Hotel, Accrington's Adelphi and the Sportsman’s Arms in Blackbu... Continue Reading
More corporate insolvencies are the last thing the small business world wants to see, so what are company owners doing to keep bankruptcy from their doors? They're working 65 hours a week in some cases, that's what.
Number crunchers at Abbey and Alliance & Leicester Business Banking have been looking into the lengths small-firm owners are going to in a bid to keep their businesses afloat. And it turns out one in six are rea... Continue Reading
From Enterprise Tsar to small-screen Dragon: there must be something in the air prompting familiar faces to throw their two cents' worth on small businesses' finance woes into the ring.
After The Apprentice star Lord Alan Sugar was pilloried for deeming struggling small-firm owners "moaners", fellow entrepreneur Duncan Bannatyne has spoken out in support of the very same recession-hit demographic.
There should ... Continue Reading
Interesting figures to emerge from the Las Vegas of Lancashire this week: despite a healthy tourism season, Blackpool now has guest houses, self-catering apartments and hotels for sale to the tune of £72 million.
Number-crunchers say 300 holiday accommodation outlets have gone on the market in the last 12 months alone, but shifting them is proving a problem f... Continue Reading
News of a pub sale with a difference reaches us this week, after two residents of a tiny Herefordshire village stepped in to stop their much-loved local falling into the hands of property developers.
Leintwardine's Sun Inn, one of the nation's last parlour pubs, was being put up for sale at auction until local businessmen Gary Seymour and Nick Davis came along with their offer after rallying around to raise the necessary fi... Continue Reading
He left struggling small-business owners picking their jaws up off the floor when he called them "moaners" earlier this week, but so-called Enterprise Tsar Lord Alan Sugar still has the backing of the prime minister.
The national council of the 215,000-strong Federation of Small Businesses called for Sugar to be replaced by "someone with more understanding and empathy for the small business sector" after the comments, made at a finan... Continue Reading
Using the services of professional valuers will go some way towards ensuring you don't pay more than necessary when buying a business. That, and taking a thorough look at stock levels, customer traffic and the books of account for tax returns.
Because it's illegal to under-report tax returns to the authorities, submitting the wrong figures after buying a business will attract penalties, notes business consultancy boss Josep... Continue Reading
After a year that saw it narrowly avoid going into administration, put up for sale and subsequently acquired by Smiths News, Norwich-based book wholesaler Bertrams is now looking to acquisitions of its own.
The positive progress is down to a £500,000 profit posted by the book and library supply business for the five months to the end of August, a boost that can probably be attributed to a handful of million-pound deals with the Dai... Continue Reading
Expect to see more restaurants for sale springing up in the coming months and years – perfect if you're looking to bring a touch of authentic Italian (well, Italian American) flavour to the business table.
US-owned pizza delivery franchiser Papa John's is set to open ten new stores before the year is out, bringing its 2009 total to 40. Over th... Continue Reading
If you're keeping an eye on hotels for sale in the London area, you'll be glad to hear the results of PricewaterhouseCoopers' latest UK hotel forecast - it shows the industry's over the worst, though a drop in corporate travel has undoubtedly left the sector weakened.
Liz Hall, the accountancy firm's head of hotels research, says budge... Continue Reading
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