UK/Ireland Small Business News Round-up – 04/07/2008

Here is this week’s news round-up for home business, micro business, sole-traders, freelancers, self-employed and any one who is interested in small business news from the United Kingdom and Ireland:

  • EU acts for small business: It is all aboard the ‘enterprise express’ for Europe’s bureaucrats, according to Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso. He has just launched the EU’s latest stab at supporting small businesses, recognising that it is these firms, not large, national ‘champions’, that drive innovation, job and wealth creation across Europe.
  • Pensions pain getting worse, Says FPB: The FPB is concerned about government legislation to prevent employers from offering incentives to encourage members of staff to opt out of pension schemes. The FPB believes that, if ratified, the Pensions Bill will add to the vast quantity of paperwork and costs faced by many small businesses.
  • FPB calls on UK Government to adopt proposals outlined in the Small Business Act for Europe: The FPB believes that proposals to support small businesses in the newly-published Small Business Act for Europe should be made key components of the UK Government’s enterprise strategy. The FPB is urging the Government to go one step further than the Act’s call to ‘think small first’, by prioritising the concerns of the UK’s smallest firms.
  • SMEs Target Struggling Rivals: When the going gets tough, the tough get going. With business confidence hitting a three year low it is surprising that a report by Tenon Forum finds that many small business owners are upbeat about their opportunities of exploiting the current situation by winning business from those companies being worst hit by the economic downturn.
  • Utilities prices could have a sting in the tail, warns FPB: Following research suggesting that already-spiralling utilities prices could rise by a further 20% to meet European Union (EU) environmental targets, the FPB is advising small businesses in the UK to seek out cheaper utilities deals before energy costs get out of control.
  • £19m small business help launched: A £19m scheme to support existing and new businesses in south west and mid Wales has been launched.
  • The small business champion: RUNNING a small business for more than two decades has given Phil Orford all the tools he needs to be the champion for the nation’s thousands of small and medium-sized companies.
  • FSB Urges Government To Keep Business Growth Scheme: The Federation Of Small Businesses is calling on the government to maintain and improve a successful scheme that rewards local authorities for supporting SMEs and entrepreneurs.
  • Spring 2008 ‘tough on small business’, according to ISM survey:The results of an ISME survey have confirm that the second three months of 2008 have proven to be particularly difficult for the small business sector.
  • SME business confidence at 20 yr low: Confidence among small and medium sized Irish companies is at a 20 year low, according to a survey by the Irish Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Association (Isme).

As always this list is not exhaustive, but I hope it will give you a little overview. — ST.

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