UK banks have proposed creating a £1.5bn fund to invest in small businesses, boosting borrowing prospects for small businesses.
A consortium consisting of HSBC, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Standard Chartered and Banco Santander SA’s UK unit will contribute to the fund over a number of years.
Chancellor George Osborne and Business Secretary Vince Cable said it was “an important first step” by the banks.
In a joint statement they added: “We have been absolutely clear that banks need to improve the lending environment for small businesses”.
“It is important that the banks now deliver on these plans.”
We will have to wait and see how effective this is for small businesses.
The fund will operate through an independent board, including bank and Government representatives, and could start rolling out investments by April.
The report comes from the business finance taskforce, which was set up in the summer by six major UK lenders.
The Government announcement yesterday means that all employers will, for the first time, be required to automatically enrol eligible employees into a pension scheme and pay pension contributions.
Although the new law will be phased in from 2012, with smaller owner-managed firms not being affected until 2014, it is vital to get schemes in place. Shropshire businesses should put their own pension scheme in place for employees, rather than rely on Government schemes, which may not be the best solution for their company.
Even if businesses already have a workplace pension scheme, it may have to change to comply with the new law. Owner managers across Shropshire will want to keep control of their employee benefits packages.
Doing nothing until you have to is not the best option. By planning ahead, the cost of the pension provision can be phased in, making the whole process much easier and, from a cash-flow perspective, much more manageable.
A Pensions Regulator will police and enforce the new law, which applies to companies with over 800 employees from October 2012 and then will be staged over four years, with companies who have less than 50 employees affected from August 2014.
It is clear that the Coalition Government is relying on the private sector to generate wealth and jobs in the economy. But what is the point of a local business growing and increasing its sales if it spends the money with suppliers outside the local economy? It’s true the local economy does grows a little but what a wasted opportunity! We want to keep the money circulating in our region.
Here are some results of a project set up by local businesses earlier in the year in USA.
“Michigan is a state severely hit by the recent economic downturn. A state with a long history in the automotive industry, it is now faced with a 15% unemployment rate and deserted factories and Main Streets. Enter Buy Michigan Now™, an organization dedicated to building a strong, vibrant and diverse Michigan economy. The online portal offers ways to find a business, list a business, resources such as news ways to adjust buying habits to ‘think locally.’ The effort encourages Michigan businesses and gives them a virtual gathering place to promote their businesses.
The business research firm Civic Economics conducted a recent study in Grand Rapids, MI, puts some actual numbers to this shop local concept. “Local businesses buy more goods and services from other local businesses and employ more people locally. Every $1 million spent at local stores, for example, creates $321,000 in additional economic activity in the area, including $119,000 in wages paid to local employees. That same $1 million spent at chain stores generates only $188,000 in local economic activity, including $71,000 in local wages.” Buying local is looking pretty good now, isn’t it?”
We are proud to have launched our Buy Local campaign.
The full article about the experience in Michigan, USA is here: http://oneclearpoint.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/can-buy-local-boost-your-small-business/
In the Spending Review, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has been targeted to make £15bn by 2014-15 by tackling tax evasion and avoidance, and by cleaning up the tax credit system.
We have some doubts that this can be achieved with a “demoralised” HMRC staff who already face a backlog of cases.
Some £8bn in savings will come from tackling fraud and error in the notoriously complicated tax credits system.
The Spending Review also included the promise of £900m of investment to address tackle tax avoidance and evasion.It is the inclusion of “tax avoidance” in this list that has raised debate among business people and accountants. Tax avoidance, unlike evasion, is perfectly legal.
We advise that all businesses consider insuring against the cost of professional fees to deal with defending claims made by HMRC. Our clients can rest assured that, in the vast majority of cases, we deal with HMRC enquiries at no extra charge.
We have been working on the assumption that, unlike previous years, the provisions of the 2009 Finance Act meant that the £100 late filing penalty for self-assessment tax returns could no longer be avoided by paying all the tax owed for the year by 31st January of the following year. The legislation means that there is an automatic £100 filing penalty irrespective of whether all tax had been paid.
However, it now seems that the Treasury have not implemented this section of the Finance Act so this provision will not apply. In other words, provided you have no tax to pay for the 2009/10 tax year at 31st January, 2011, then the fine will be waived.
Please be aware that this concession is not available for members of a partnership where the partnership tax return is filed late. There is an automatic non-waivable £100 penalty for each partner.