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Business Rates and Late Payments — What Small Businesses Are Looking for from the Next Government

It’s only a few weeks until the election and, whoever ends up forming the next government, most of us have hopes about what their policies will be. Small business owners are no exception, and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has released the results of a poll of its members. This suggests strongly what small business owners are looking for from the next government. Cracking Down on Late Payments Late pa
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How Do People See the Work of Enforcement Officers?

Traditionally, people have always been terrified of “the bailiffs”. They’ve been seen as people who can descend on you and use strong-arm tactics to seize your property and leave you destitute. That’s a very Dickensian picture, and while it may have once been true, enforcement officers (as they’re more correctly called) are carefully regulated today. And a recent survey showed that 83% o
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Buy Now Pay Later — An Opportunity or a Trap?

In difficult times like these, resorting to Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) can seem like a lifesaver. Used carefully and with full understanding, it can be a good way of spreading costs for items you can’t immediately afford. The problem is that many consumers don’t fully understand the terms and, as recent research by TotallyMoney shows, repayments can very quickly build up. What Is Buy Now Pay Later? BNPL is
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Crisis in Private Rentals — Bad News for Landlords and Tenants

Figures just out show that private rents increased in the past 12 months at a rate well above inflation. At the same time, as prospects seem to be diminishing of the renters reform bill passing before the election, record numbers of tenants are being forced to move. It might seem at a casual glance that this is all great news for buy-to-let owners, but it’s actually not that simple. If you’re a private la
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Nervous Times Ahead for Small Businesses

Recent economic news seems to have been an improvement on last year, with inflation and interest rates holding steady. Two recent surveys by Novuna Business Finance, however, show that small business owners are still having sleepless nights about their position — and many fear that they may have to close within the year. Concerns Affecting Small Businesses 75% of small business owners have said that worries about the
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Mixed Forecasts from London Businesses

After a year that’s been bad for both businesses and consumers, it might be assumed that business forecasts are going to be negative. However, a survey of London businesses late in 2023, gives mixed signals. Most expect difficult times in the first half of 2024 — but a surprisingly large number also expect to increase their profits this year. Fears for Economic Activity in 2024 In a survey of 500 London-based b
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Small Businesses Are Confident About 2024

The Federation of Small Businesses reported that, for the 4th quarter of 2023, 40% of small businesses reported a fall in revenue, and confidence had also plummeted. Which makes it more surprising that, according to research by three separate organisations, optimism is high among small businesses for 2024. Expectations for Growth in Turnover In a recent poll by lender Iwoca, 47% of small businesses were expecting an
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Are IVAs Being Mis-sold? The Insolvency Service Investigates

An IVA (individual voluntary agreement) can be an invaluable resource for any individual person facing mounting debt. It offers the chance to protect yourself against action by creditors, and to structure repayments in an affordable way. However, like any financial product, there’s the potential for abuse. The Insolvency Service has announced that it’s investigating whether IVAs are being mis-sold. What i
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Business Loans and Personal Guarantees

Loans can be essential for the growth of small businesses, and as long as they’re managed carefully, they’re entirely positive. Investing for growth is a way that SMEs can lead the economy out of its current stagnation — but there’s a problem. Banks are increasingly asking directors of small businesses to provide personal guarantees for loans, often putting their homes on the line. The Federation of
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Risks of Debt Among Financially Vulnerable People

The cost-of-living crisis is hitting us all, to some extent, but it’s hardly a surprise that the worst hit are the most financially vulnerable people. For many, the only way out seems to be taking on debt, which can lead them into a debt spiral it’s hard to break — and this is especially a risk over Christmas. Debt Patterns in 2023 Recent figures show that, on average, 22% of people in the UK have fallen
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