Entrepreneur Peter Jones, famous for his appearances on TV’s Dragons’ Den, is among the business people rewarded for their achievements by the Queen in her New Year’s Honours List.
More small firms are planning to take an extended Christmas break than at any time in 16 years, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has said.
From a survey of its members, the FSB estimates that 10% or 500,000 are planning to close for two weeks over the festive period.
The FSB says the main motivation for the move is to save money.
FSB official Stephen Alambritis said the firms were following the decisions of carmakers such as Land Rover.
"By closing down for the full two weeks, small firms are looking to save a bit of cash though reduced electricity and fuel bills," he said.
Representatives from the UK’s banks and business groups met government officials yesterday to discuss the impact of the economic downturn on small businesses. At the meeting of the Small Business Finance Forum, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) presented the latest findings of its economic downturn panel of member-firms, whose owners are being surveyed every fortnight to present a true picture of market conditions and lending restrictions for small firms.
HSBC has announced a new £1bn loan fund for its small business customers as recession leaves firms struggling to meet day-to-day running costs.
Many of its rivals are constraining lending while they nurse their balance sheets back to health, and HSBC hopes to seize the opportunity to find profitable business in the midst of the downturn.
The Government has reaffirmed its commitment to developing the nation’s skills with the launch of an innovative new trial to develop Apprenticeship Expansion Programmes aimed at increasing current apprenticeship numbers to fill existing skills gaps. The trials, delivered through the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) will provide participating employers with access to funds of more than £10 million over the next three years, in a bid to increase the number of available Apprenticeship vacancies.
Small business owners are wary of the Chancellor’s efforts to help them, believing the longer-term costs of Alistair Darling’s Pre Budget Report outweigh the supposed benefits. A resounding majority reject the government’s assistance because of fears that the Chancellor’s generosity will come back to bite them.
An online research programme by Trends Research for us at Business Matters magazine immediately after the Pre Budget Report gathered the opinions of 816 leaders of small and medium sized businesses to a package of measures designed to help them survive the recession.
Lord Mandelson says he is concerned about the "alarming" treatment of small businesses by some bank managers.
The business secretary welcomed Royal Bank of Scotland’s announcement that it would freeze overdraft charges for small firms until the end of next year.
But he said there was concern some banks were summarily changing the terms of loans to small firms.
As Britain’s small and medium-sized businesses battle harder than ever to stay profitable new research has revealed that ‘spouse power’ is providing companies with 230 million unpaid hours every month – a contribution worth some £72 billion per year to the UK economy.
Company liquidations jumped by a quarter in the last three months according to official figures today.
The Insolvency Service said there were 4,001 voluntary and compulsory liquidations in England and Wales in the third quarter of 2008. The figures represented a 10.5% rise on the previous quarter and an increase of 26.3% on the same period a year ago.
The Government says that the proposals – including extending its pledge to lead the way on tackling payment by paying its own suppliers within 10 days – are designed to preserve small firms’ cash flow by improving access to finance. The FPB is calling on banks to commit to preserving and improving credit lines for small firms.
He said local authorities could also help by paying small businesses for their services earlier.
Meanwhile, the chancellor, Alistair Darling, has said the government will help the economy by "re-prioritising" its spending to create jobs.
The Treasury’s Yvette Cooper has also urged lenders to be more lenient on people who default on mortgages.
There is a clear divide on whether Britain is a great place to run a small or medium sized business according to the latest poll from the Orange SMS Business Jury. Over a third of SME and small businesses (36%) surveyed disagreed that Britain was a great place to run a small or medium sized business, while just under a third (32%) said that Britain was a great place to do business, despite the current downturn.
First it was petrol, then food, now beer. Breweries have decided to hike their prices for the second time this year, bringing to the market, for the first time, the £4 pint.
Research carried out within the small to medium sized enterprise market and found that the most common factor that makes small business owners consider their business to have “made it” is when they have made over £250k-£500k profit cleared and in their business bank account.
The research from KashFlow.co.uk found that the Top 5 business milestones that small business owners considered that they had to reach before considering their business to have made it were as follows;