Supreme Court Ruling Offers a Lifeline to Small Businesses

Are you one of the many SME owners who have been forced to close your business, wholly or partially, during the Covid-19 lockdown? If you have Business Interruption insurance that covered closure due to disease, you may have been one of the policyholders refused payment by your insurer. However, there’s good news. A ruling by the Supreme Court on the 15th January has established that in most cases closures due
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You Might Be Surprised Who the Biggest Tax Dodgers Are

Tax evasion and avoidance are big news these days, and most of us associate them with the multinational corporations and super-rich celebrities we read about in the news. But HMRC recently revealed who the biggest culprits are — SMEs. SME Tax Evasion HMRC estimates that they’re owed a total of £5.2bn in evaded tax payments, and of course those are only the debts they know about. Tax evasion, unlike tax avoidance, is
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Keeping Your Business Out of Trouble

We’ve all read it over the past few months, banks, phone companies, and goodness how many other institutions have been hacked. Daily scams are becoming the norm; and every day seems to add to the problems small businesses are facing, myself included. I have written before about protecting your business with contingency planning and I make no apologies for repeating my concern. Remember to check this on a regular basi
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Insolvencies show economy is heading in the right direction

There was good news on the economy in the government’s quarterly insolvency figures for April to June, published recently. Fewer companies are going out of business than at any time since late 2007, and the total number of individuals who became insolvent was at the lowest level since the third quarter of 2005. The statistics cover England and Wales and show that a decrease in compulsory liquidations was the main dri
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A danger sign of debt for business

A leading debt advice charity published a single figure a few  weeks ago that helps explain why the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, is casting about for reasons not to increase interest rates when unemployment drops below 7.1%. In what was billed as Debt Awareness Week, the StepChange charity was contacted by new clients who owe a total of £230 million. It’s not clear how many people sought advice on managing
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Debt trap snares nine million – but help is available

News from the Money Advice Service that nine million people in the UK are living with serious debt is just the latest statistic to capture the scale of the problem. According to a survey by the government-backed service, only 17% of these people have asked for the free advice that is readily available to help families manage their debt burden. No wonder, then, that increasing numbers have turned to payday lenders and
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Pity the poor credit manager

Who’d be a credit manager? I say that because the loss of Tie Rack from the high street is yet another sign of the changes being wrought by the shift to online shopping – which is where the tie sales are heading – and the squeeze on business finance. Tie Rack, which was once a byword for the entrepreneurial style of its founders, had been making losses for years. In part, men’s fashion had moved on and the tie was no
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Beware of the zombie companies

In my business of debt collection, I talk to a lot of people. And owners and managers of small- and medium-sized business are telling me they are not convinced by the official statistics showing that the UK economy is in recovery. There is, appropriately enough in this season of witches and werewolves and things that go bump in the night, a fear of what even a small rise in interest rates will mean for the thousands
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Warning: housing bubble risks a personal debt explosion

The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, is clearly intent on keeping interest rates at their current low of 0.5% for as long as possible. Waiting until unemployment drops below 7% may delay an increase until 2016 or, at the market-predicted earliest, the first quarter of 2015. That’s good news for house buyers and some reassurance to people using individual voluntary arrangements or debt management plans to
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