UK/Ireland Small Business News Round-up – 11/07/2008

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:

  • Europe Proposes VAT Cuts: The European Commission has made proposals to allow VAT cuts on labour intensive and locally provided services, a move that could help many small businesses and high street shops.
  • SMEs Holding Their Own In Downturn: A recent survey on the UK Business Forum asked the question, “Has The Slowdown Affected Your Turnover’”
  • Business cautious with cash: THREE quarters of Scotland’s small business owners would rather hold on to their cash than make any immediate decisions about investment in the business, new research has
  • Small businesses warned over HMRC tax scam: The ICAEW is warning businesses to be careful when providing personal financial information following an email credit card scam.
  • FPB welcomes Shadow Chancellor’s tax proposals: A proposal that could ease the tax burden for millions of small businesses across the UK is being welcomed by the FPB. The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has committed a future Conservative government to simplifying the tax system – including giving advance warning and increasing scrutiny of any proposed legal changes.
  • Wages are top worry for small firms: Small Irish companies view labour costs and inflation as their biggest problems, according to a report from the Small Firms’ Association (SFA).
  • Small firms feel fuel rises: MORE than half of small firms have already started to pass on increased fuel costs to their customers, according to a new report.
  • Three-year low in confidence: CONFIDENCE among entrepreneurs is at a three-year low, according to a report today.
  • W-Systems Celebrates 200th Small Business Customer: W-Systems has experienced phenomenal customer acceptance for its mobile CRM software product w-Mobile over recent months, with over 180 installed sites actively operating with a little as two users to as many as one hundred at a single installation site.
  • Expert Small Business Tips: The New Apprenticeship: With the credit crunch making conditions even tighter for small businesses, savvy entrepreneurs are turning to apprentices to help them maintain a competitive edge.
  • UK Facing Serious Risk Of Recession: The British Chamber Of Commerce (BCC) has warned that Britain is at ’serious risk’ of a full scale recession, with suggestions that the economy is now slowing down much more quickly than experts had previously predicted.
  • FPB responds to consultant on education and skills: The FPB is responding to the Government’s proposed Higher Education at Work – High Skills: High Value Bill by calling for the UK’s education system to better support small businesses. Following a survey of its members, the FPB wants the provision of education and skills to be simplified and streamlined; better relations between business and education institutions; and a single point of call for information on education and training.
  • Small Business owners to get life coaching: A LIFE coach may not be the first person a small business turns to when times get tough. But James McKim, one of Scotland’s leading practitioners, thinks companies should treat coaches as trusted advisers, in the same way they would an accountant or solicitor – and he’s not the only one who thinks so.

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

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