UK/Ireland Small Business News Round-up – 2009/05/08

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:

  • Small business owners warned to watch out for bogus HMRC tax refund emails: Many Bytestart readers may have noticed an increase in the number of bogus HMRC ‘tax refund’ emails which may have been received in the past few weeks. Includes top ten tips to help spot such bogus emails, and what to do if you receive one.
  • Small companies ‘failing to make profit’: Over half of the UK’s small firms have not made a profit in the opening months of 2009, according to new research.
  • Small firms ‘better at risk management: Smaller companies tend to be more effective at managing their financial risk, according to Close Invoice Finance.
  • Capital allowance rise ‘does not help SMBs’: Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are unlikely to benefit from the increase in capital allowances, according to the Forum of Private Business (FPB).
  • SME opportunities abroad: Despite the recession, some foreign markets offer appealing opportunities for small businesses looking to expand abroad, says Stephen Hughes, director of northern Europe at Enterprise Ireland.
  • Hardy core of SMEs remains resilient: SMEs are shedding staff at an increasing rate in an attempt to stay afloat as sales continue to drop and finance is hard to come by, according to the latest Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain published by the Open University Business School.
  • How to spot a phishing scam: HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has just updated its website, flagging up a stack of new phishing scams being sent out via email, saying that recipients are eligible for a tax refund. With April marking the start of the new tax year, there has been a wave of email phishing scams targeting small business owners who fill out self-assessment forms.
  • FSB to issue ASBOs to tackle plague of late payment: The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is warning late paying companies that it will name and shame them with Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs).
  • Avis joins the drive to help small business: Avis is to offer 1,500 free car rentals to small businesses, throwing its weight behind a new campaign to give the kiss of life to overseas sales

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

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