Business Heroes is moving…

http://www.business-heroes.co.uk

Business Heroes is moving!

Hi everyone,

Thanks for visiting our site over the last six months. It’s been a fantastic learning process for us and our various contributors. We started with nothing and we’ve now rocketed to the point where we have a loyal following of readers who regularly contact us with feedback and comments – thank you if you’ve taken the time to do this!

So, with one eye on the future, we’ve decided to take things to the next level; more features; more news; more video; more interaction plus the same great news and views delivered to you, our readers. However, we’re not stopping there. This year will also see the launch of the Business Heroes awards, a major small business competition to recognise the best of UK business. We’ll announce more about this in the next three months – watch this space!

To do all of this we’ve decided to move to our own servers and give ourselves a proper address. We can now be found here at http://www.business-heroes.co.uk and as from today, we’ll no longer be posting on this site. Please save this new address in your bookmarks and continue to follow us on Twitter, where we will be running competitions and providing you with the latest news directly.

See you there!

The Business Heroes Team

Small Business Advice | Banks join forces to lend to businesses

The British Banking Association (BBA) has announced plans to form a new taskforce in a bid to stimulate lending to UK businesses. The group, lead by Stephen Green, head of the BBA, has sent a letter to George Osbourne outlining plans to form a group to discuss how the banks can improve businesses’ access to funds. The group will also investigate what changes can be made to create a stronger financial market for business. To read the full story, visit the Growing Business website.

Small Business News | SME’s plan own spending cuts

An article recently published by SME Web suggests that VAT increases and National Insurance measures could force a spending decrease and inhibit expansion for the UK’s small and medium enterprises.

The coalition government has been relying on a boom in the private sector in order to support the UK economy, particularly as large public sector cuts are implemented. However a study conducted by YouGov and Safestore reveals that with the increase in VAT from 17.5% to 20%, a third of UK small and medium enterprises believe that this rise will be detrimental to their business. A further 19% of SME’s say they plan to either freeze or lower salaries in order to survive new measures. When questioned about the NI measure, 31% did not believe that the raise would encourage expansion of their business. With over 12 million people employed by SME’s in the UK, this could strike quite a blow on both a personal and wider economical level. Moreover any negative effects from the VAT increase may affect small firms who will have to pass the increase on to their customers, unlike big businesses who can absorb the cost.

To read the full article, please visit SME Web

Small Business News | Are banks misleading small firms?

The Telegraph recently reported that ahead of a government led launch to improve the flow of finance to, Vince Cable has accused banks of misleading small firms.

Despite  Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Lloyds Banking Group both stating that loan application approvals stand at more than 80%, Cable is convinced that the reality is something quite different. Latest statistics from the BBA show that banks lent £500m in May to small businesses but this was less than they collected in repaid debts and withdrawn overdrafts. Therefore aalternatives to bank debt are being examined alongside tax benefits which may encourage private investors to back fledgling companies. A mere 1-2% of UK small and medium enterprises use equity finance as an alternative to high street banks so the option of recreating 3i – a private equity group that provided equity and debt for small, growing businesses – looks like a promising solution.

To read in full please visit the Telegraph website

Small Business News | Peter Jones voted top Dragon by SME’s

In a survey of 500 UK entrepreneurs, Dragons Den Peter Jones has been named the most admired Dragon by UK small and medium enterprises.

Conducted by SME telecom specialist XLN Telecom, Peter Jones received 31% of the votes, followed by James Caan and Duncan Bannatyne, who each won 20%, while Deborah Meaden was backed by only 7% of respondents. Over half (64%) of participants claimed they would be happy to pitch their business on the show, with 39% seeing healthy sales figures as the best way to attract investment. When asked about their own businesses, 64% of respondents claimed to have used personal savings when starting up their businesses. Christian Nellemann, entrepreneur and founder and CEO of XLN Telecom,  stated that such results show the UK to be a nation of plucky entrepreneurs. Well deserved and positive coverage for SME’S who play such an integral part in the UK economy.

To read the article in full please visit the SME website.

Small Business News | Number of business failures drops

Recent reports released by Equifax show an overall drop in the amount of business failures since 2009. There was a 19.1% year on year drop for Quarter 2 2010 compared to Quarter 2 2009 and a 7% drop for Quarter 2 compared to Quarter 1 2010. However rates are still not down to the pre-recession levels of 2008. 

The report highlights how businesses have been tightening their control on cash flows and costs but also the great regional disparity that seems to exist between those business managing to keep their heads above the water, and others that are not quite so lucky. Scotland was revealed to be the best performer with a 31.9% drop in failures whereas the East and South East of England only dropped by 2 to 3%. Another point highlighted in the article was the difference between industry sectors with Transport, Communication and Manufacturing industries fairing far better than the Services sector who actually experienced an increase of 1.3% of business failure.

The overall tone of the article was that despite the seemingly positive results, businesses should be careful not to take their eye off the ball. It seems we are not out of the woods quite yet.  To read the full article please visit Business Matters website.

Small Business News | Business Minister starts ‘work experience’ week

Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk has this morning kicked off an initiative to spend a week working with small businesses to gain better insight into the experiences of companies on the ground. Mr Prisk is spending today with a small Bethnal Green based company.

The ‘Week in Small Business’ initiative was introduced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to gain an in-depth understanding of the specific needs of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs).

Mr Prisk is also actively encouraging employees working on enterprise policy at the Department to participate in the initiative over the next year to help boost their understanding of the real-life issues faced by smaller firms, and bring SMEs and Government closer together.

More information on the initiative is available on the NDS website.