NEWS

The latest from Balance for Business

Waiting on an invoice payment? Don’t expect it before Christmas

  Tuesday 13th November was statistically the last day that SMEs can be guaranteed to get paid in time for Christmas because of habitually late client payments. According to a study of 250,000 subscribers to cloud-based accounting service Xero, the average payment time for UK small businesses on standard 30-day invoices is 40 days. With […]

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Construction SMEs facing liquidation

Addressing the Seanad Public Consultation Committee on Small and Medium Sized Business in Ireland on 13 November, the Construction Industry Federation has called for more significant investment to improve conditions and support innovation in the sector and protect its small and medium-sized enterprises. Director General Tom Parlon, CIF, said: “The impact of the economic downturn […]

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South West SMEs lack basic digital skills

Nearly half of South West SME organisations lack the basic digital skills that could drive growth, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Business and Charity Index. It is claimed that UK businesses could generate an additional £85bn, by embracing digital skills. The report reveals that only 22%% of South West businesses are gaining a transactional […]

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UK retail sales decline as consumers tighten belts

UK retail sales fell for the second consecutive month in October, the Office for National Statistics has reported, down 0.5% after a mild autumn hit sales of winter clothes – missing expectations from economists that they would rise 0.2%. Non-food sales fell 1.3%, with a 1% decline in clothing sales. They were also down at […]

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Cabinet backs Theresa May’s Brexit plan

Theresa May has announced that Cabinet has backed the draft Brexit withdrawal agreement and stated that she believed the deal was in the UK’s national interest. However, although the Cabinet reached a collective decision, approval was not unanimous, with nine ministers reportedly speaking out against it. The draft document has now been published and details […]

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Cyber-security now top concern for businesses

There is no bigger threat to businesses than cyber-attacks, according to a new survey by the World Economic Forum (WEF) of more than 12,000 executives from 140 countries in Europe, Asia and North America. A series of high profile security breaches at companies including Ticketmaster, BA and HSBC have pushed the issue further up in […]

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SMEs hoping to leverage automation to boost competition

One fifth of UK medium-sized businesses believe automation will help them compete with larger rivals, according to a survey by fintech frim Centtrip, which found that 75% of businesses already use automation and believe it could save them a significant amount of money. The survey also revealed that 25% would reduce staff numbers as automated […]

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Accountants play crucial role securing finance for small firms

Dominic Buch, co-founder and managing partner of Caple, argues that CFOs are uniquely placed to help small businesses negotiate alternative funding sources. He says the advice and expertise of an accountant or financial advisor is central to a successful SME funding outcome, as they can assist in navigating a crowded market, structuring the funding solution […]

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High street closures: 14 shops vanishing each day in the UK

Nearly 2,700 high street shops closed down in the first half of this year, according to PwC. And the long-term outlook isn’t bright. The gap between high street store openings and closures is widening as the expansion of online retail and chain restaurant woes continue. A net 1,123 stores vanished from the UK’s top 500 […]

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PM launches Brexit ‘business councils’

Theresa May has formed five new business councils to advise on how to create the best business conditions in the UK after Brexit. Big names on the forums include Tesco boss Dave Lewis, ITV chief Carolyn McCall, entrepreneur James Timpson, and CBI head Carolyn Fairbairn. Each council will meet three times a year, twice with […]

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