Sources of finance for SMEs

In May 2015 the Conservatives were elected into government with a manifesto that largely focused on improving the economy. The party reiterated its commitments to the range of funding options available to SMEs, including the Enterprise Finance Guarantee, the Business Finance Partnership and the National Loan Guarantee Scheme. In the May 2015 Business Barometer survey …

Are interest rates affecting business activity of UK SMEs?

Back in February 2015, the Bank of England governor said low inflation is temporary and will return to its 2% target within two years. Mr Carney stressed that if there was any evidence of a sustained fall in inflation, the Bank could “if necessary” cut interest rates from their current 0.5% low to zero, but …

Were you aware of new EU VAT regulations for exporting digital products and services to Europe?

On 1st January 2015, VAT thresholds were changed for UK businesses exporting digital products and services to Europe. Previously, businesses selling under £81,000 worth of products a year were exempt from paying VAT. In light of this, in the December 2014 Business Barometer survey, our panel of UK SMEs and business advisers were asked whether …

Has economic recovery improved business confidence for SMEs?

In September 2014 the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reported a record-breaking high on the confidence index with a figure of +41 during the third quarter of 2014. Also, the Bank of England estimated a further growth of 3% in the UK economy in 2014. As a result, in the October 2014 Business Barometer survey …

My experience of the Growth 100 programme

Guest blog by Aaron Dicks, MD of Impression Digital. When I launched Impression in November 2012 I knew just two things for certain; Nottingham was in need of a high-quality, good value digital marketing agency and that myself and my co-founder Tom Craig were the two people to bring it to market. Beyond that, starting a …

National Minimum Wage vs Living Wage

In the February 2014 Business Barometer survey, our panel of UK small business owners and business advisers were asked about the effects of a potential rise in National Minimum Wage on their businesses and the feasibility of paying employees the higher living wage. The responses from small business owners were as follows: George Osborne has …

Late payments and small businesses

In the January 2014 Business Barometer survey, our panel of UK small business owners and business advisers were asked about the frequency of late payments made by customers as well as the businesses’ ability to pay suppliers on time. The responses from small business owners were as follows: Over the last six months, how has …

Confidence in the future of business among UK SMEs

In the December 2013 Business Barometer survey, our panel of UK SMEs and business advisers were asked about confidence levels in investing in the future of business. We also asked a set of trends questions to gauge how situations have changed over the last 3 months. The responses from UK SMEs on business confidence were …

Pension auto-enrolment for SMEs

One year after pension auto-enrolment came into effect for Britain’s largest companies, smaller businesses will soon also have to join the system, which requires employees to enrol all their staff in a company pension scheme unless people have specifically opted out. In the November 2013 Business Barometer survey, UK SMEs and business advisers were asked …

UK SMEs and business advisers on Bank of England interest rates

The Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship runs two online UK business surveys: UK Business Barometer (UKBB) and UK Business Adviser Barometer (UKBAB). The results of the surveys are instantly processed and posted on their respective websites. In the October 2013 survey, UK SMEs and business advisers were questioned about Bank of England interest …