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 …

How concerned are SMEs about the outcome of the 2015 General Election?

With the impending General Election on 7th May, the April 2015 Business Barometer survey asked our panel of UK SMEs and business advisers about the possible impact of the General Election on their business prospects. The UK’s EU membership is one of the hot topics debated by the various parties during their campaigns, and we …

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 …

Is international activity of UK SMEs due to increase in 2015?

Research released by Western Union Business Solutions on 12th January 2015 revealed that a third of UK businesses expect to grow in their international activity in the year ahead. In light of these findings, in the January 2015 Business Barometer survey our panel of UK SMEs and business advisers were asked about the likelihood of …

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 …

How would the departure of the UK from the European community impact upon SMEs?

In October 2014, Britain was told it must pay an extra €2.1bn (£1.7bn) into the European Union budget by the end of December because the UK economy is doing better relative to other European economies. This raised again the question mark over Britain’s future in Europe. In the November 2014 Business Barometer survey, our panel …

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 …

Do changes in aggregate GDP influence business decisions made by SMEs?

Gross domestic product (GDP) figures show that the economy is now 0.2% ahead of its pre-crisis peak. The figures, from the Office for National Statistics showed that the economy grew by 0.8% in the second quarter of 2014. In the August 2014 Business Barometer survey, our panel of UK small business owners and business advisers …

Flexible working for SMEs

Millions of employees now have the right to request flexible working. The new law which came into force on 30th June 2014 entitles any employee with 26 weeks’ service to ask for a range of flexible options, including compressed hours, 4-day weeks, working from home and job shares. In the July 2014 Business Barometer survey, …

What do SMEs expect from Business Schools?

In the April 2014 Business Barometer survey, our panel of UK small business owners and business advisers were asked about their awareness of and engagement with their local Business School. The responses from small business owners were as follows: Business Schools are being encouraged to be more closely engaged with the local business community. To …