UK/Ireland Small Business News Round-up – 2009/03/06

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:

  • Connemara Seafoods wins Small Business Award: Connemara Seafoods has won the overall SFA National Small Business Award 2009.
  • FLA: 33% of UK SMEs turning to asset finance: Asset finance accounts for one third of all UK SME financing, according to a new survey.
  • Many small businesses will fail to qualify for Scotland’s rate relief Scheme, warns business lobby group: Many small businesses in Scotland will miss out under a scheme exempting some from paying business rates, the FPB is warning. From 1 April 2009, the Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme will allow businesses with premises worth up to £8,000 to pay no rates at all. At present, they are eligible for a reduction of 80%.
  • New figures show small business are depositing less into banks: The latest figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) show that deposits by small businesses into the UK’s banks have eroded substantially. The FPB is concerned that, although overall lending to small firms has increased marginally, the fall in deposits shows businesses are increasingly struggling to survive the recession.
  • Small Businesses call for dedicated utilities watchdog: Small businesses suffering at the hands of utilities companies believe a dedicated watchdog should be restored to ensure they receive an efficient, cost-effective service, new research carried out by the FPB suggests. The FPB believes that Consumer Focus, which was set up in September 2008 when Energywatch merged with the National Consumer Council and Postwatch, should offer to small businesses the same protection it does to domestic customers.
  • Make finance decisions locally, FSB urges banks: The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on banks to restore decision-making powers to local branches and is launching a code of good practice for banks to follow and to support more lending to small firms.
  • Late pay culture bodes ‘disaster’: LATE payment is becoming more widespread across the UK while the availability of credit continues to worsen, according to reports today which underline the difficulties facing thousands of small businesses.
  • Treasury hears NI bank worries: The Treasury select committee is told banks are still refusing to lend to Northern Ireland small businesses.
  • Telegraph: IT potentially more damaging than Red Tape for Home & Small Business: The Telegraph Newspaper has today published an interview with WinWeb’s Founder & CEO Stefan Töpfer, in which it picks up on the fact that spending your time on IT-information technology chores can be just as damaging for small business as red-tape. These activities are often very time consuming and the business owner loses business focus.

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

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