Cable pledges contracts for small business

A serious boost to small business is on the way if a pledge to award Government contracts to the sector is realised.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said this week that the government still intends to award a quarter of all government contracts to small and medium sized businesses.

“Our policy is to ensure that 25 per cent of public procurement goes to the small business sector. We need to give access through small sca... Continue Reading

Reality show B&B on the market

A thriving B&B made famous by reality TV is still being sold despite increased bookings.

The couple behind the sale of the Georgian style B&B – which featured on Channel 4 last month – say the business is still up for sale, despite a boom in bookings since the show aired.

After taking part in the ‘Three in a Bed’ series which showcased the country’s best value guesthouses and B&Bs, business at the Bridport, Dor... Continue Reading

What the Tory-led coalition will mean for small business

For the million-plus small business owners in the UK, the 'selection' of the Conservatives by the Liberal Democrats as coalition partners will come as a huge relief.

Assuming the Lib-Dems have not negotiated assurances from the Tories to the contrary, we can expect the following pledges to be enacted over the coming year:

A reduction in the the small companies' rate of corporation tax from 22p to 20p
... Continue Reading

Gravetye Manor Hotel is sold by administrators

Six weeks after being appointed, administrators at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) have announced that Gravetye Manor Hotel and Country Club has been sold to a new entrant to the hotels market and that the business will continue to operate as a hotel.

Gravetye Manor is a Grade 1 listed Elizabethan manor house located seven miles from Gatwick Airport on the East Sussex/West Sussex border. It has iconic status as one of the UK's firs... Continue Reading

Exeter theatre enters administration

Exeter's Northcott Theatre has fallen into administration following a trustees' meeting on Wednesday evening, leaving a question mark over its future.

The Northcott, which is on the site of the University of Exeter, opened its doors on 2 November 1967, with Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. It has been serving up performances to east Devon's theatre-going public ever since, with the exception of 2007 when it c... Continue Reading

FSB calls for tax 'helping hand' for small businesses

The UK's tax regime has prevented a large of proportion of small businesses in the UK from taking on more staff and growing their organisations, according to new research.

Over half of firms questioned by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said taxes have had a negative impact on their chances of economic recovery. Businesses in the south-east of the country feel particularly strongly, closely followed by the north-west an... Continue Reading

Buyer sought for Northampton pub for sale

Punch Taverns has put a Northampton pub up for sale amid concerns over its future from local residents.

The fate of The Rose and Claret in West Hunsbury - the only pub in the area - was thrown into uncertainty after it was boarded up and rumours surfaced that it could be demolished to make way for housing.

A spokeswoman for Punch Taverns explained to reporters at the weekend that the pub site had been boarded up for se... Continue Reading

Enterprise Inns sells seven London pubs

Pub chain Enterprise Inns has sold seven of its sites in London, raising £12 million from the auction.

The auction took place on Wednesday and each sale was offered to investors as a freehold with a 35 year lease and a break clause at 25 years, subject to six months notice.

This latest auction, through Allsops, brings the pub firm’s public auction income to £47 million. It says it may continue to raise as much as £2... Continue Reading

Shropshire B&B for sale for more than £1m

An iconic B&B for sale in Shropshire is expected to attract "significant interest" from a wide range of potential buyers. The De Grey's Townhouse business sale is being handled by London-based Christie + Co, with a guide price of £1.25 million.

Home to De Grey's Tearooms for over 100 years, the Elizabethan property in Ludlow contains a licensed restaurant - with its own bakery shop - and nine bespoke guest bedrooms, in add... Continue Reading

Agent optimistic about Suffolk and Essex pubs for sale

The agent responsible for 13 pub sales - that came about after Elizabeth Estates fell into administration in December - says there is "strong interest" in the freeholds of the free-of-tie tenanted establishments. The pubs for sale are available individually or as a group and it's believed they'll produce around £2.5 million.

At the moment the pubs, located in Suffolk and Essex, produce a combined rent of £213,000 and are ... Continue Reading

More small business loans opened up through EFG

Barclays has made another £88 million of business loans available to small firms through the government's Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG), introduced during the downturn to help companies struggling to raise funds.

Lord Davies - the trade, investment and small business minister - says the EFG has already helped "thousands of viable businesses" access the cash they need to withstand the recession and prepare for recovery. Continue Reading

RBS/Natwest loans to sustain manufacturing recovery

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) figures have highlighted that manufacturing production rose for the first time in two years in the three months to January, and now a billion-pound fund has been launched to keep the sector buoyed up.

Representatives for RBS/NatWest say the loans are being made available following feedback from customers in the industry who are anticipating growing demand for their products during 2010 and beyo... Continue Reading

Cadbury business sale leaves a bitter taste in Bournville

The business sale story of the decade (so far) has ended in defeat for that sweetest of British institutions: Cadbury. After maintaining last month that it would not be swayed by a revised offer from US food giant Kraft, the confectioner's board advised shareholders to give in and accept the cheese manufacturer's proposal of 840 pence per share, valuing the company at £11.5 billion.

Attention in the Midlands – home to Ca... Continue Reading

Small firms lack exit strategies and key person insurance

Millions of sole traders in the UK are leaving their businesses vulnerable by not insuring against profit losses or the cost of replacing their "key person", it's been claimed. That's despite 77 per cent of sole traders who have a key person in their business admitting their enterprise wouldn't survive the loss of that individual.

Research from the Scottish Widows Business Protection Report reveals that around 2.6 mill... Continue Reading

Luxury tearoom and B&B business for sale in Ludlow

Many of us dream about quitting the rat-race and setting ourselves up with a nice café, B&B or guesthouse business in a beautiful area. Well they don’t get much quainter than this – a luxury B&B, tearoom and restaurant in Ludlow.

When buying a business, it’s important to consider if the business you are buying is a success (is it making a profit? does it have a unique selling point?). The Elizabethan De Grey’s Townhouse is a... Continue Reading