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.

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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 | Tougher Stance on Tax Evasion?

The Coalition Government may prompt a tougher HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigation and put more pressure on SMEs to secure every penny in order to restore public finances. UHY Hacker Young, the national accountancy group, commented that this might not be as effective as the figures suggest; tax investigations into multinationals are 18 times more lucrative than those into SMEs. For every £1 HMRC spent on investigations into multinationals during 2008/09, they received £181 of tax. In contrast, tax investigations into SMEs and private individuals only generated £10 of extra tax for every £1 invested. For more information, please read the full story on SME Web.