NEWS

The latest from Balance for Business

SMEs unconvinced by Small Business Commissioner

Small firms facing problems such as late payments and disputes with large companies are sceptical that a new government-backed ombudsman will have any positive impact on their business, according to new research from Close Brothers Invoice Finance. Paul Uppal began work as the Small Business Commissioner three months ago, but just 16.2% of SMEs consider […]

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Falling inflation hints at interest rate rise

Falling petrol prices and a slower rise in the cost of food contributed to a drop in UK consumer price inflation during February. The rate fell from 3% to 2.7%, the lowest figure since July 2017. The Bank of England already expects wages to grow more quickly than inflation and Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser […]

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Brexit will force SMEs to boost productivity

Brexit will be a wakeup call for small businesses says consultancy firm Oliver Wyman, as thousands trading with the EU will have to negotiate new customs red tape. The solution to absorbing the cost burden will be to improve productivity. Those who don’t may find they no longer qualify for Government funding support, adds the Times’ […]

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Britain in the race for world’s first trillion-dollar company

The Daily Telegraph has published an in-depth series on technology, exploring the evolution of London’s Silicon Roundabout and how fast-paced tech has run-up against the state and its need for regulation, which struggles to keep up. The paper looks at talent shortages, universities and their links with business, spin-offs and finance. Tech entrepreneurs are interviewed on their […]

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Property market performing better than expected

UBS has said that fears that commercial property transactions in the UK would slump following the EU referendum vote in 2016 seem not to have played out, with the market performing “better than expected”, as occupiers and investors took a more “realistic” view on Brexit risks. However, analysts at the bank agreed that property markets […]

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Hammond hails economic ‘turning point’

Philip Hammond has used his Spring Statement to set out a series of consultations on future policies, including a consultation on extending current training tax relief to self-employed people and employees. The chancellor also said that the apprenticeship levy – which has been criticised over the amount of red tape it entails – will get […]

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Chancellor urged to tackle late payment “crisis”

The FSB is calling on Philip Hammond to tackle the late payment “crisis” that is damaging small businesses. It urged the chancellor to use today’s Spring Statement to show “leadership” on the issue, after a survey of 1,512 companies found that more than 80% reported being paid late. More than one in three respondents to […]

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Start-ups dip into savings

Research by Hitachi Capital shows nearly 40% of start-ups have had to use their owners’ personal savings to stay afloat over the last 18 months. The survey of 1225 businesses found start-ups were twice as likely to use their owners’ money than firms that have been trading for 10 years or more. It also found […]

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A tax on revenues could backfire

Glyn Fullelove, chair of the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s technical committee, writes in City AM that proposals to tax tech firms on revenues from customers, rather than on profits, could mean British companies end up being taxed more heavily overseas than in the UK. He says the Treasury has conceded that keeping with a value-based approach is […]

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SMEs still suffering from late payments

New research from Close Brothers Invoice Finance shows almost a quarter of SMEs are still suffering from late payments from customers. The barometer also found that 25.2% of businesses suffering reported that they were owed more than £40,000, almost twice as many as the 13.2% of SMEs suffering to this extent in March 2015. David […]

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