UK/Ireland Small Business News Round-up – 2009/03/27

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:

  • Banks move the goalposts: According to a survey carried out by the UK200Group, an association of independent professionals including lawyers and accountants, almost half of respondents (47%) said their banks had imposed changes to overdrafts or loans, with 27% claiming that these changes had taken place without notice. Just 11.4% were consulted over changes to lending agreements.
  • Spotlight back on banks’ poor service to small businesses: Evidence is mounting that small business customers are being treated poorly by the UK’s banks, the Forum of Private Business (FPB) is arguing.
  • New report highlights SME innovation: A new study, written by Emergent Research and issued by Innuit, shows a real need for small businesses to innovate to find success. With the web making it easier for new business start ups, competition has never been so prevalent. How important is innovation to future growth?
  • Seagate re-armours small business storage:Update Seagate has introduced a line of network-attached, workstation and portable disk storage products with encrypted contents under its BlackArmor brand.…
  • Small businesses face a double rates blow, says business lobby group: The FPB is urging the Government to ease the burden of business rates on small businesses. Many are already being hit by the impact of the recession and spiralling costs, yet face a 5% rise in rates in April 2009. In addition, the Government is planning to allow local authorities to impose additional charges under its Business Rates Supplements Bill.
  • Graduates find hope in small firms: With the big graduate employers cutting recruitment this year, university leavers are expected to focus on the small business sector
  • Small businesses in call for rates relief: Hundreds of small business owners have written to Chancellor Alistair Darling demanding the introduction of automatic business rate relief in next month’s Budget
  • Ofgem cracks down on energy tariffs: Energy regulator unveils a new code of practice for suppliers to give retail customers and small businesses more power in getting access to the best offers
  • We must fight the recession together, FSB Chairman tells small businesses: The National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) today promised to provide shelter for small businesses struggling through the storm of recession.
  • Small businesses feel the pinch as banks raise rates: Banks continue to squeeze small businesses by charging ever-increasing interest rates on loans and overdrafts – despite the Bank of England dropping interest rates to 0.5 per cent.
  • Small firms see silver lining in deflation cloud: MORE than 60 per cent of small businesses in Scotland expect inflation to “flatten-out” or “decrease” over the course of the year, a survey today said.
  • SF seeks €300m job-retention fund for small firms: Sinn Féin is calling on the Government to establish a €300m job-retention fund for small and medium-sized businesses.

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

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