NEWS

The latest from Balance for Business

Commissioner to help small firms tackle payment disputes

The government has appointed a small business commissioner and launched a complaint-handling website to help small firms resolve disputes around payment practices. Paul Uppal said that his mission was to “help all small businesses nurture positive and lasting relationships with their customers that work in the best interests of both”. The government says a third […]

MORE

HMRC seizes assets from 2,000 small firms

HMRC seized business assets from 1,953 UK firms in 2016 to 2017, according to research by Funding Options. The figure represents a 23% increase in assets seizures from the previous tax year and suggests the Revenue is stepping up its pursuit of small business owners who are not paying the correct amount of tax. The […]

MORE

Brexit progress set to boost business confidence

The Bank of England says confidence among households and businesses is likely to be supported by last week’s Brexit talks when the EU agreed that sufficient progress had been made in negotiations to put in place a transition period from 2019. The Bank said the breakthrough would reduce the likelihood of a “disorderly” Brexit. Meanwhile, […]

MORE

Focus on staff happiness to boost productivity

Former Waitrose MD Mark Price writes in the Telegraph that employers can boost productivity by focusing on staff happiness. He says academic research shows a link between happy, engaged employees and long-term improved organisational performance. A survey by Mr Price’s engaging.works website found better work-life balance would most improve staff happiness in their workplace. The second most […]

MORE

UK Services growth speeds up

The UK economy is on track to accelerate again as the dominant services industry picked up more pace in December. GDP growth edged up to 0.4pc in the third quarter of the year and economist now believe it could rise further to 0.5pc for the final three months of 2017. Businesses surveyed by IHS Markit […]

MORE

Small businesses warned to protect key people

Small employers must review their protection policies to help their staff deal with stress, the head of RedArc has warned. According to Christine Husbands, managing director of support services provider RedArc, many small business owners and staff feel the pressure more heavily over Christmas and January. As a result, there is more stress – financial, […]

MORE

Exports offer bright spot against falling confidence

Global business optimism is at a record high, according to a survey by accountancy firm Grant Thornton, but sentiment among UK companies has fallen in the last year as uncertainty over Brexit continues to weigh heavily on corporate confidence. Its quarterly International Business Report found that optimism among firms around the world is at the […]

MORE

A new guide reveals how you can keep staff happy and healthy

Business Advice has published its new guide on workplace health and wellbeing for small businesses, in partnership with AXA PPP healthcare. Since staff represent a small business’s most important investment, it’s crucial for owners to take the health and wellbeing of their employees seriously. To read the full guide, click here. Whether it’s managing staff absences, addressing issues […]

MORE

Government begins reversal of ‘staircase tax’

The Government has begun the process of reversing the so-called ‘staircase tax’ in order to ease the burden on business owners. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will today publish draft legislation to reverse the tax, which is expected to benefit up to a thousand firms. Companies which occupied more than one adjoining floor but which used […]

MORE

Culture of late payments undermining growth of SMEs

The culture of late payment to the South West’s SMEs is undermining their growth and the value they bring to the UK economy, according to new research. Sixty per cent of invoices issued by SMEs in the South West in 2017 were paid late – up from 45.2 per cent in 2016, according to business […]

MORE