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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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Are You Ready for the Changes in Employment Law?

If you employ people in your business, you already have plenty of things to remember for their terms of employment. Well, since 6th April there are two more — and not being ready for them could land you in trouble. Changes to Flexible Working Rules The Covid lockdown finally put paid to the already dying traditional model of working, where everyone came into a workplace and stayed from nine till five. Depending on th
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Late Payments and Finance Problems — Optimism Falling Among Small Businesses

The last quarter of 2023 saw the UK going formally into recession, and that’s bound to affect the mood among small businesses. It’s not a coincidence that a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) found that businesses felt more pessimistic during Q4 than Q3. Lower Levels of Optimism Among Small Businesses The FSB’s Small Business Index for the final quarter of 2023 found a reduction in s
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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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Directors of Companies Facing Insolvency — The Four Deadly Sins

None of us like to think of our companies facing insolvency, but unfortunately that can be the reality of business, especially at the moment. Record numbers of business insolvencies are being recorded, so it’s vital for Directors to be clear what they should and shouldn’t do — preferably before they’re faced with the choices. What Is Insolvency? Section 123 of the Insolvency Act 1986 sets out variou
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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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