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UKTI launches new e-Exporting Programme

Trade Minister Lord Livingston has established a new online exporting enterprise to enable UK companies of all sizes to trade internationally by selling online via e-marketplaces, such as eBay and Amazon. The UKTI e-Exporting Programme has found more than 400 e-marketplaces worldwide and will give information and guidance about how UK companies can register and trade via these e-marketplaces. UK companies will also be able to access an e-Exporting adviser. The e-Exporting Programme, which was piloted in China in November 2013, is expected to support approximately 50,000 UK companies to become established online traders.
Read more about the e-Exporting Programme at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/online-exporting-package-launched-to-help-british-businesses-sell-while-they-sleep

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Company closure numbers plummet in Hemel Hempstead!

A new report from company formation agents, Duport.co.uk has revealed a falling number of company closures in Hemel Hempstead.

The latest Duport Business Confidence Report for Hemel Hempstead has shown a significant reduction in company closures over the first quarter of the year.

Between January and March, 127 companies were dissolved in the area, representing 21% reduction on the previous year. This also puts Hemel well ahead of the UK as a whole, which experienced a 6% rise in closures over the first quarter.

The report also shows an 8% rise in company closures, which led to an overall increase in net company growth (the number of company formations minus the number of company closures).

Managing Director of Duport.co.uk, Peter Valaitis said:

“The first quarter yielded some very positive results for Hemel Hempstead. Falling closures and rising formations are a fantastic sign for the local economy.”

The Duport Business Confidence Report for Hemel Hempstead contains a range of data and statistics, from company formation numbers to new company naming trends. More information can be found at http://www.duport.co.uk/hemelhempstead

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Treasury seeking views for Autumn Statement 2014

Companies, charities and members of the public are being encouraged by the Treasury to give their views on existing Government policies and make suggestions for new policy ideas that could be included in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement 2014. Whist trying to make policy-making more open and transparent, the Treasury is looking for original and enterprising ideas to be included in the Autumn Statement. Suggestions must be sent to the Treasury for consideration by 17th October, in preparation for the Statement’s delivery on 3rd December 2014.
Views should be submitted via email to:
autumnstatementrepresentations@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk
To find out more about sharing your views, go to:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/autumn-statement-2014-have-your-say

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HSE publishes revised compliance guides

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has  issued new straightforward guidance which will assist employers to comply with health and safety laws. A revised account of ‘Health and Safety Made Simple – The Basics for Your Business’ has been published, with concise and up-to-date information on subjects such as writing health and safety policies and the provision of training. A new guide entitled ‘Risk Assessment: A Brief Guide to Controlling Risks in the Workplace’ has also been published to replace previous risk assessment guidance. This features enhanced clarity on the recording of risk assessment findings and controlling identified risks.
Read more about the guides at:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg163.htm?ebul=hsegen&cr=6/01-sep-14
http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg449.htm?ebul=hsegen&cr=14/01-sep-14

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Ofcom outlines plans to help small firms

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Communications regulator Ofcom has outlined a scheme to ensure small companies benefit more from UK telecoms services. According to Ofcom, this will incorporate providing support to rural companies, launching a web portal that provides advice and support specifically for business, and publishing research on the provision of telecoms services to small and medium-sized companies. Ofcom has already published a ‘contract checklist’ that provides advice for companies about landline phone, broadband or mobile contracts.
Read more about the scheme at:
http://media.ofcom.org.uk/news/2014/sme-plan/
The ‘contract checklist’ is available at:
http://consumers.ofcom.org.uk/ofcom-for-business-consumers/

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SUBSIDISED TRAINING COURSES FOR SEPTEMBER

There are a just a few spaces left for  September 2014 Courses!

Workshop 1: FINANCE FOR NON-FINANCIAL MANAGERS
The aim of the course is to convey an understanding of finance to delegates who do not come from a financial or accounting background. The course is aimed at people who do not have any previous accounts experience or formal training in accounts and finance. It will cover all topics including book keeping, Profit and Loss, VAT and computerised accounts packages.

Duration: Full day
When: Wednesday 10th September 2014
Time: 9.30am – 16.30pm
Venue: Maylands Business Centre, Redbourn Road, HP2 7BA
Cost: £80 plus VAT (lunch is included)

Workshop 2: RECRUITMENT/INTERVIEW SKILLS
Finding the right person to fill a vacancy can feel like a huge task; getting it wrong is costly, time consuming and will can affect your business in many ways. It is likely that many managers or team leaders won’t have been looking to actively recruit staff during the economic challenges in recent years and may have not have not conducted an interview or assessment for a while and feel very out of practice.
Often we are faced with recruiting in a hurry and candidates who may come across as very plausible and capable can turn out to just have been very good at being interviewed; which leaves us with an employee who can’t do the job and another problem for us to tackle.
This full day workshop will help you identify what skills and abilities you are looking for, how to structure your interview around these competencies and how to collect the information from the candidates to enable you to make a correct decision.

Duration: Full day
When: Tuesday 16th September 2014
Time: 9.30am – 16.30pm
Venue: Maylands Business Centre, Redbourn Road, HP2 7BA
Cost: £80 plus VAT (lunch is included)

To book your place on either of these courses please contact 01442 531002 or email lesley.crisp@dacorum.gov.uk

 

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New international funding tool launched.

A new international development funding tool has been established by the Department for International Development (DFID), to help charities, individuals, business and Non- Governmental Organisations (NGOs) formulate a shortlist of relevant funds they can apply for. The tool includes drop-down menus that can be used to search for relevant funds by name, country, sector, amount of money required and type of organisation . Types of funding registered include DFID-funded business support, grants and funds relating to international development.
Read more about the tool at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-international-development-funding-finder-launched

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Concerns as number of HSE inspections rise

Figures acquired by law firm Pinsent Masons have shown that the number of inspections undertaken by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) increased by 6% since the Fee for Intervention (FFI) scheme was established in 2012. This has led to concern that the regulator’s FFI scheme, under which companies can be made liable to cover HSE’s costs, is influencing the amount of inspections. Laura Cameron, a Partner at Pinsent Masons, stated: “There may be a concern that the Fee for Intervention scheme is an incentive for the HSE to boost the number of inspections it undertakes because it knows they can bring in extra revenue, following major budget cuts.”
Read more about the increase at:
http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2014/august/concerns-over-health-
and-safety-cost-recovery-scheme-as-number-of-inspections-rises/

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Broadband grant scheme rolled out

Small and medium-sized businesses in 22  cities in the UK  can apply for grants of up to £3,000 for installation of  faster broadband services at their premises. The 22 cities include Bradford, Cambridge, Derby, Newcastle, York, Belfast, Perth and Newport. The Connection Voucher Scheme is an element of the Urban Broadband Fund and is open for applications until 31 March 2015. The objective of the Scheme is to improve digital connectivity, generate new business opportunities and stimulate economic growth in UK cities.
Read more about the scheme at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/boost-your-bottom-line-with-a-free-broadband-grant

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Small firms rejected by banks to be linked to alternative funders

Access to finance for small and medium-sized businesses will improve when the proposed Small Business, Enterprise and Employment Bill becomes law, following a Government consultation that ran throughout March and April 2014. The proposed Bill instructs banks and building societies to send details of any small companies that have had an application for finance rejected to platforms that will link them to alternative sources of finance. Companies’ details will only be sent with their consent, and distinct minimum standards will be set to ensure that companies are adequately protected and in control during the process.
Read more about the Bill at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/sme-finance-help-to-match
-smes-rejected-for-finance-with-alternative-lenders

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