UK/Ireland Small Business News Round-up – 24/10/2008

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:

  • Darling to banks: Be fair to small firms: Ministers are to warn bank lenders to ‘play fair’ with charges and loans to small businesses in a new victory for the Daily Mail’s Fair Deal For Small Firms campaign
  • Government pledge help for small firms: The Daily Mail’s campaign to save struggling small businesses has scored an early breakthrough as Labour and the Tories back key planks of our package
  • Small Business charter: The problems that need fixing: The Daily Mails campaign is based on an eight-point plan to help Britains 4.7m small and medium-sized firms survive the economic storm
  • Mandelson faces union backlash: Ministers on Monday backtracked on suggestions the government would delay plans to extend flexible working rights to 4.5m parents, under proposals to help small businesses launched by Gordon Brown on Tuesday.
  • Darling to order recapitalised banks to lend to small business: Alistair Darling and Peter Mandelson will meet the chief executives of High Street banks in Downing Street on Thursday and order them to lend more freely to small and medium sized enterprises.
  • Small business owner told to declare sandwiches as ‘industrial waste’ : The owner of a small business claims he has been told he must declare his sandwich wrappers as industrial waste or face a £300 fine.
  • FSB: Government package is along the right lines: The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed new Government proposals to help small businesses through the economic slowdown, describing them as “going along the right lines.”
  • FSB welcomes all party support for small businesses: The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has today welcomed both the Government and the Opposition’s proposals to help small businesses through the credit crunch.
  • Mandelson Focuses On Small Business Survival: Labours new Business Secretary Peter Mandelson has put all other issues and future legislation on hold and issued a brief to his department to focus on helping the survival of small business through the financial crisis.
  • Tories urge VAT holiday for firms : Small businesses should be allowed to defer paying VAT for up to six months, say the Conservatives.
  • Government’s small business package a welcome first step, says business lobby group: The FPB is welcoming the Government’s emergency package in support of small firms, but is warning that more must be done to help them survive the economic downturn.
  • Downturn delays retirement plans: OWNERS of small businesses in the north west are having to postpone their retirement plans because of the downturn, while more than 25 per cent say they will be forced to cut jobs over the next six months, a report said today.
  • Cameron proposes 1p cut for firms: Conservative leader David Cameron calls for a six-month national insurance cut as part of efforts to help small businesses.
  • Today in Politics: the battle for the small business vote: Frantic activity from both the Tories and Labour today as they highlight measures to help people and small firms survive the downturn. David Cameron has called for a 1 per cent cut in national insurance contributions for 2.3m small businesses. The Government has queried where the money would come from. Cameron has rejected the Government’s decision to review plans to extend flexible working to see whether the extra burden on companies should be eased in the current climate. Ministers, who are urging the banks to go easy on homeowners and firms, say the Tories are all about headline-grabbing gimmicks rather than hard decisions, saying that shows the difference between opposition and government.

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

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