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:
- Ministers could set loan rates, bank warned: Direct Whitehall control over the lending rates of Britain’s high-street banks is among the contingency plans being drawn up by Alistair Darling to ensure that the dearth of lending caused by the credit crunch does not force thousands of small businesses to go bust.
- Pain relief for small businesses, apart from one big VAT headache: The Chancellor’s package of support for small and medium size businesses – very much a Cinderella sector in previous budgets – is very welcome, but there are stings in the tail.
- Pre-budget report: tax breaks: A package of measures to help small businesses struggling with the credit squeeze and the rapidly worsening economy was broadly welcomed yesterday.
- Banks must free up lending to small businesses: The Government kept up the pressure on banks to stand by their small business customers yesterday as concern mounted that a squeeze on the sector that is the lifeblood of the economy could force healthy firms out of business.
- Don’t ignore Glover recommendations, says the Federation of Small Businesses: The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) today cautiously welcomed an influential review of government procurement that calls for a fairer deal for small firms when bidding for public sector contracts, and urged the Government to respond promptly.
- FSB reaction to the Chancellor’s Pre-Budget Report 2008: The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) today welcomed the new £1billion fund for small firms announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling in his Pre-Budget Report speech.
- Financial Mail Extra: Redundancy advice for small businesses: Small business owners rarely have large human resources departments to carry out the grim task of making staff redundant for them
- SME’s React Badly To Mini Budget VAT Cut: Small business owners are perplexed by the governments VAT reduction introduced by Alistair Darling in yesterdays so called ‘emergency mini budget’
- SMEs Need Payment Support Not More Lending: Once again it would seem that the government has got it totally wrong regarding it’s proposed help for SMEs, as a recent poll by theUKBusiness Forum shows that only 8% of small businesses believe that forcing banks to lend to SMEs would make it easier for them to remain competitive.
- Budget business measures at a glance: Rules on empty property eased:SMALL businesses will receive rate relief on their empty properties, a measure designed to stop firms demolishing vacant buildings in an attempt to avoid paying business rate
- RBS to freeze small firms overdraft fees: The UK’s second largest bank has announced a freeze on overdraft charges and a guarantee on loans for its small business customers in an attempt to help them survive the economic downturn.
- Mandelson bank behaviour ‘alarm’: Lord Mandelson pledges action over the “alarming” treatment of small businesses by some bank managers.
- Encouraging signs for small business as cashflow picks up: There are encouraging signs for small business after developments in recent days, writes Mike Staight of Cardiff-based broker Mustard Commercial Finance
- £7bn fund will help small businesses to weather the storm: Small companies will get a £7 billion package of measures to help to bolster them through the economic downturn. The move follows a series of warnings from small business groups that many viable businesses are facing ruin largely because of cash-flow problems and access to finance.
As always this list is not exhaustive, but I hope it will give you a little overview. — ST.