Archive for July, 2013

Online fraud an increasing issue for retailers

One in five retailers are failing to take online fraud seriously, according to a survey by Martec International. The survey indicates that retailers take a ‘disjointed’ approach, with almost a quarter not able to say exactly how much their online fraud prevention costs are.  Small  speciality  retailers were  affected most by online fraud, investing seven times the average amount in ‘chargeback’ (consumer compensation). The main fraud concerns identified by respondents were analytics and monitoring, fraud detection and operational capabilities.
There is more about the survey at:
http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240201680/Retailers-fail-to-face-up-to-online-fraud-survey-shows

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Exporting at highest level since downturn began

UK exporting activity has improved  to 2007 ‘pre-financial crisis’ levels, according to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). The BCC statement for the second quarter of 2013 revealed a trade index rise of nearly 3% on the same period last year and showed that over 40% of manufacturing companies had secured elevated export orders. Over 30% of companies also stated that they expected to increase their staff this year and export orders received by service companies had struck a record high. John Longworth, Director General of the BCC, said: “For the first time on record, these results are positive across the board. Export sales and orders have gone up, confidence is high and expectations around profitability have increased.”
Read more about the BCC report at:
http://www.britishchambers.org.uk/press-office/press-releases/uk-exports-
reach-highest-level-since-the-recession,-according-to-report-by-bcc-and-dhl.html

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Grow, Survive and Survive Skills Event

Grow, Thrive and Survive

SME skills networking event

Friday 27th September 20134

Holiday Inn, Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, HP2 4UA

8.00am Registrat8ion and Networking – tea, coffee and breakfast provided

8.30am Welcome and Introduction to UH, Support and Funding for SMEs

Rebecca Jones (University of Hertfordshire)

8.45am How we can Support your Business

Lisa Devayya (Dacorum Borough Council)

8.50am Breakthrough Business Growth

John Lally (Santander)

9.05am How to Grow, Survive and Thrive

Stephen Herman (Target Management Advisory)

9.20am Networking

10am Close

To register for the event and for further information please contact

Lisa Devayya, Learning and Skills officer, Dacorum Borough Council

Call: 01442 220396 Email: lisa.devayya@dacorum.gov.uk

 

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NEW FORUM OPENS FOR DACORUM SMALL BUSINESSES

A NEW forum for small businesses is inviting start ups and entrepreneurs from across Dacorum to get involved.
Hosted at the Maylands Business Centre, the Small Business Forum is the initiative of Dacorum Borough Council
Its aim is to help start ups and businesses based in Dacorum with less than 50 employees grow and succeed.
Lesley Crisp, Maylands Business Centre manager, said: “The Small Business Forum will provide a network of support for businesses in Dacorum.  Fifteen local businesses attended our first one-off meeting and we are looking to build on that when we start meeting regularly from September.”
Meeting monthly, this FREE group aims to encourage local businesses to work together to resolve business issues, provide support and to learn from each other.
They will also have the opportunity to attend seminars with external speakers on a wide range of business topics including social media, childcare, business planning, marketing strategy, available training and understanding finance.
The Small Business Forum will be held on the first Wednesday of every month from September 4, between 10 and 12, at the Maylands Business Centre.
For further information, please email Lesley.crisp@dacorum.gov.uk or call 01442 531003.

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Government taskforce seeks small firms’ views on EU red tape

Small companies have been asked to assist the Government’s taskforce on EU regulation identify European rules and regulations that cause needless obstacles to business growth. The review of EU bureaucracy will explore barriers to business start up, innovation, exporting, recruiting staff, business expansion and competitiveness.  Focus will be placed specifically on regulations relating to employment, chemicals, food safety and hygiene, life sciences and the digital economy. The deadline for contributions is 23rd August and the taskforce will publish a report in September 2013 comprising of  practical proposals for European regulatory reform.
There is more on the consultation at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/business-taskforce-asks-companies-to-help-target-eu-red-tape

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Local economy boosted by small businesses

A larger amount of monies spent by local authorities on contracts with small companies is re-spent in the local economy than that which is spent with large businesses, according to research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The research showed that, for every £1 spent with a small or medium-sized company, 63p was generated for the local economy, compared with 40p in every £1 spent with larger firms. In addition, 86% of local authorities are breaking down large contracts into smaller pieces of work with a view to give smaller firms more opportunities. Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis stated that he wanted to see councils investing more in local firms and streamlining the procurement process.
Read more about the findings at:
http://www.fsb.org.uk/News.aspx?loc=pressroom&rec=8116

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Employee ownership tax relief consultation opens

A Government consultation on recommended tax reliefs to support the creation and growth of indirect employee-owned companies (where shares are held collectively on behalf of the employees, for example, in an employee benefit trust) has been launched and will run until 26th September 2013. The reliefs being considered comprise of a capital gains tax relief to exercise upon sale of a business to an indirect employee-ownership structure, and an exemption to allow such companies to pay a specific amount of wages to their employees each year tax free.
Read more about the consultation at:
http://www.workplacelaw.net/human-resources/news/48069/
views-sought-on-providing-tax-relief-for-employee-ownership

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Government sets out strategy for construction sector

An extending strategy for the future of the construction sector has been released by the Government. The Construction 2025 report sets out a variety of measures to drive change in the industry and ensure building projects are completed quicker and more cost effectively. The article also itemises the potential benefits of the strategy to small and medium-sized construction companies, including an increasing number of suppliers providing trade credit to small businesses and the development of a fair payments charter.
Read more about the strategy at:
http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/july/government-and-construction-
industry-publish-plans-to-cut-cost-and-length-of-construction-projects-by-2025/

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Small UK exporters getting left behind

Small UK companies are falling behind corporate firms in terms of exportation, according to a survey delegated by the Institute of Export (IoE). The survey revealed that, while almost one in four respondents showed an awareness of Government schemes that support export momentum such as the UK Export Finance Programme, companies with a turnover in excess of  £25 million were making the most use of these schemes.  Additionally, the survey  found that lack of finance and lack of Government support were restricting both micro and small to medium-sized firms’ exporting efforts.  Director General of the IoE,  Lesley Bachelor stated,  “Most of the companies surveyed do not train their staff in international trade, and fewer than one in three small businesses see a specific need for training. Much more needs to be done to make these companies aware of the training programmes, apprenticeship and finance schemes available.”
Read more about the survey at:
http://www.machinery-market.co.uk/news/3543/Small-UK-exporters-getting-left-behind

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