Worrall Thompson a victim of the credit crunch or just normal banking procedure?

The celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson has blamed his bank after putting his restaurant chain into administration last Friday.

Sixty staff lost their jobs after four of Worrall Thompson’s restaurants stopped trading. The chef has used his own savings to keep two more outlets running, and has criticised Lloyds Banking Group for refusing him an additional £200,000 increase on his current £200,000 overdraft to help the business through the next few months. However we have taken the lid off the boiling pot and think that many UK business owners will sympathise with AWT, but are surprised at his ‘It’s the Credit Crunch what did it’ explanation.

Sorting the wheat from the chaff

With recent negative press coverage and investigative television programmes such as Panorama looking at the British residential property investment market – in particular whether buyers and lenders have been the target of widespread fraud – Jim Moore looks at how you, as a seasoned investor, can sort the good guys from the bad.

Thanks for nothing, Darling…

“Surprise, surprise, Alistair Darling has made a u-turn on Capital Gains Tax. And as per usual, there was no consultation with businesses large or small. But that’s not what bothers me.

In a nutshell, the ‘Entrepreneur’s Relief’, which was announced on January 24th 2008 (relief….really??) means that people will pay just 10% on the first £1 million of capital gains. This is a serious u-turn following October’s announcement that plans were afoot to impose a single flat rate of 18%.

So what do I think of this?

Are the CGT proposals as grim as many SME’s claim?

Are the Government’s Capital Gains Tax proposals as grim as many small and medium sized businesses claim? Property mogul Jim Moore, founder of Inside Track and Instant Access Properties – the UK’s biggest buy-to-let education and investment company – takes a closer look…..

"When I first heard the Government is to slash Capital Gains Tax from 40% to 18% I thought it sounded good. But if it’s really as good as it sounds, why are so many small businesses against the Government’s plans?

What women want

What drew you to your current bank in the first place? Was it the excellent services it offered, the lure of a free iPod or possibly the promise of vouchers off your next holiday abroad? There’s no doubt that banks will offer the world to secure your custom these days. But are they maximising their potential and catering for everyone?
Well, no apparently not. New research suggests that banks are totally failing to cash in on the potential riches that could be gained from having more female customers. But why target women?

Make ‘your’ voices heard

Businesses are the lifeblood of communities, and collectively they are the economic engine of the country. Business opinions matter greatly, and to ignore this voice would be disastrous to any government with aims of achieving economic development and future prosperity.
This year, I hope the party conferences act as a platform to promote the issues affecting businesses, and with the current ‘credit crunch’ taking hold, uncertainty at Northern Rock, and a government in power that claims it wants to utilise ‘all the talents’ available, this really should be the time for politicians to listen, learn and to wholeheartedly deliver.
So what is it that we are determined to voice? The first thing that strikes me when I travel around the country talking to businesses on behalf of the British Chambers of Commerce, is a growing skills gap. This country is suffering at the hands of an education system failing to deliver a skilled, enthusiastic and professionally minded workforce. Manufacturing, engineering and the science and technology sectors are suffering.