Archive for April, 2012

NLGS Not Enough – As If We Didn’t Know!

According to a new report by the Treasury Committee, the National Loan Guarantee Scheme (NLGS) might not be enough to help small firms access credit required. The report posits that the scheme “was not designed to solve the problem that many SMEs who may be reasonable credit risks are unable to access bank funding at all in the current unusual market conditions.” The committee strongly recommends that the Government do more to promote competition among the banks to help improve the flow of credit to SMEs.

The Treasury Committee Report.




Government Funding For Cloud Computing Companies

We are advised that £40 million is to be made available by the government to invest in SMEs in the cloud computing and ‘software-as-a-service’ markets. Notion Capital will target firms with high growth potential and has so far attracted funding of almost £63 million from the Government, private investors and the European Investment Fund (EIF).

Business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk said: “Notion Capital is the largest Enterprise Capital Fund to date and will help a significant number of firms to grow and create jobs, boosting our economy.”

There is more on Notion Capital at:


Direct v Digital Mail Comaprison

Here is an interesting blog from Marketscan that compares the benefits and options between using direct and digital marketing techniques. Of course Marketscan are a direct mail house so they are, perforce somewhat partial in their views. But interesting nevertheless.

Article link



SME Owners Have Bigger Debts!

I have been reading in The Independent that the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) has found that small business owners have more debt than the average person. The research has found that the average personal debt of an SME owner is £30,514 compared with the average of £20,023 owed by the CCCS’s clients.

Also, the level of arrears for council tax and utility bills among small business owners is 10% and 20% higher than the norm. Una Farrell of the CCCS said the majority of small business debt is held in short-term credit cards and personal loans, “perhaps because they can be raised a little easier than standard business loans.”

More Information



Networking. Thats The Way To Increase Sales

Business Network International (BNI) believe that business secured through peer-to-peer referrals has increased by 45% since 2008, well they would, wouldn’t they? They posit that the value of customer introductions made at business networking events rose from £185m in 2008 to £269m in 2011.

Charlie Lawson, national director of BNI, said its members are “embracing a much wider range of networking tools beyond face to face, such as LinkedIn and Twitter, These tools help to develop relationships long after meetings, networking events or making new contacts in the pub.” I like the idea of the pub!

More on the BNI figures


Retail Sales Bask In Spring Sunshine

Year on year retail sales rose in March by 3.6%, reversing a 1.9% decline in 2010/11 according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). The warm weather in March lead to a rise in sales of clothing, footwear and outdoor leisure products. Online sales continued to rise sharply. Non-food items were up by 13.9% on a year ago. Stephen Robertson, director general of the BRC, said: “The overall retail environment is still difficult. Discounting remains a key tactic for retailers trying to encourage consumers to spend”.

More Information:


Ofgem Powers To Compensate SMEs

According to U-Switch, energy suppliers who fail to meet their legal requirements to small business will be required to compensate them under a scheme announced today.  The scheme is restricted to users consuming less than 55k kwh of electricity and 200k kwh of gas and have a turnover of less than 200,000 euros.

More information



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