UK/Ireland Small Business News Round-up – 14/11/2008

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:

  • Cloud Computing: The OnlineOffice Benefits: Cloud Computing‘ is in the media everywhere these days. What does is mean and how is it going to help your small business or home business?
  • Bankruptcy fear for small business starved of borrowing: Representatives of small businesses and of the banking industry exchanged frank views during the first meeting of the Government’s Small Business Forum yesterday, as the economic downturn and upcoming recession prompted small businesses to warn of a slew of bankruptcies within weeks if banks hold back on lending
  • Banks that pocket rate cuts face tougher action: Gordon Brown urged the banks to pass on the full benefit of yesterday’s surprise 1.5 per cent cut in interest rates to mortgage-holders and small businesses. His call came as Labour MPs called for legislation to force banks to lower their mortgage rates in line with rate reductions by the Bank of England to ensure that the impact of the downturn is softened and people who need it most get help.
  • Small businesses turn their backs on bank managers: Accountants come out on top as preferred source of financial advice for small businesses.
  • Cambridge’s MP signs ‘Think Small First’ pledge: The Liberal Democrat MP for Cambridge, David Howarth, is backing a campaign to place small businesses at the heart of the Government’s decision-making process. Launched in June this year by the FPB, the campaign calls for politicians to sign a pledge in support of the smallest firms – those with fewer than 10 employees.
  • Banks bleeding us dry, say small firms: The historic cut in the base rate last week, taking it to levels not seen since 1955, may have come too late for many small businesses struggling to get finance
  • Panel to monitor business lending: The government is to create a new panel to monitor the levels of lending to small businesses, Lord Mandelson announces.
  • Brown launches help for small businesses: Gordon Brown unveiled a tougher new code governing lending to small business, in the latest government effort to encourage banks to keep credit flowing, and made further signs that the government is preparing to cut taxes
  • The capital Keeps Trade Local: The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is launching its national Keep Trade Local campaign across the capital next week to encourage Londoners to support the ailing economy by shopping locally.
  • Green is a winning colour for small business: The UK’s small and medium companies are leading the way in low carbon technologies, according to a new study.
  • Banks told to disclose small business lending: The five main small business banks have agreed to direct Government monitoring of their lending activities.
  • Alistair Darling under pressure over small business tax: Alistair Darling is under pressure to abandon a planned tax increase on small businesses which the Government is proposing to introduce during the recession

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

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