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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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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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How High Will Monthly Mortgage Repayments Rise?

With the recent steep rises in the Bank of England’s interest rates, it was inevitable that mortgage repayments were going to rise. However, a recent survey suggests that the position is worse than most people expected. It’s now expected that monthly repayments will rise by an average of £617. The Research Results According to research by The Mortgage Lender (TML), 80% of homeowners are concerned about rising rates,
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SMEs Are Targeting Growth in 2023 — But There Are Challenges

With rampant inflation and a cost-of-living crisis in progress, it would be easy to assume that businesses would be consolidating and cutting costs. While some may be, though, the attitude where SMEs are concerned looks surprisingly optimistic. There are challenges, however. So, should you go for growth or concentrate on playing safe? SMEs Planning for Investment A recent survey by retail bank Aldermore has revealed
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Improving Financial Outcomes — The FCA’s Three-Year Strategy

Most people would agree that the financial sector has been in dire need of more targeted regulation — and, on the whole, those companies that have always operated ethically would also agree. In a sector tarnished by everything from the LIBOR scandal to consumer scams, tougher regulations should allow firms already meeting or exceeding those standards to get a head-start. What’s the Background to the Strategy? S
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Business Insolvency — Why It Happens and How to Spot the Signs

Insolvency — it’s a prospect every business owner has nightmares about, even if everything seems fine at the moment. But what leads to a business becoming insolvent, and how can you, as owner, see the signs that you’re at risk? Why Does a Company Become Insolvent? Insolvency can be the result of a company no longer being able to pay its way. It may be unable to meet its debts or have more liabilities than assets, but
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When Is a Penalty not a Penalty? — Are You Offside when Claiming Interest?

When you’re signing a commercial contract with a partner, you may find it includes a penalty clause. Or possibly you’ve included one in a contract you’ve drawn up. This is, in essence, a clause which states that a specific sum is payable in the event of a specific failure, such as late delivery of materials or services, or late payment of an invoice. Liquidated and Unliquidated Damages Penalty clauses have a contenti
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7-2 vote brings interest rate rise closer

The news that two member of the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee voted in favour of an increase on interest rates at their August meeting would suggest that the historic low rates are nearing their end. We’ve written before about the possible impact of rising rates, however gradually, on businesses and consumers who are managing, just, their repayments. Once variable loan rates start to increase, whether o
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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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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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