Telling the truth about SME life today

Pick of the press: Monday 24 May 2010

Despite Britain’s leading retailers having worked together to oppose Labour’s planned increase in National Insurance, they are now being split by how the new government should tackle a VAT rise. Ian Cheshire, the chief executive of Kingfisher, which owns B&Q, says that instead of hiking VAT from 17.5 to 20 per cent, the Treasury should consider widening the VAT net to include food. Unsurprisingly, the chief execs of Sainsbury’s and Tesco oppose this. Who will win?

Financial Times – Retailers split on VAT strategy


As the economy recovers, employers are seeing more and more employees demand a pay rise, but many bosses are opposed to giving in to the requests. Research by the CBI and recruitment consultancy Harvey Nash shows that 16 per cent of employers plan to freeze wages at their next review, compared with 55 per cent a year ago.

The Guardian – Pay rises stay below inflation as flexible labour force helps climb to recovery

Financial Times – Employers aim to keep lid on pay rises 

The Independent – Prospects for new jobs improve and firms loosen pay restraint


The cost to business of complying with government regulations has jumped more than £11bn in the past 12 months, says the British Chambers of Commerce. The total regulatory burden over the past 12 years stands at £88.3bn, according to the BCC’s Burdens Barometer report, a figure calculated from civil service estimates of the cost of new regulations.

Daily Telegraph – Total cost of new regulations reached £90bn under Labour government

BBC News – British Chambers of Commerce wants red tape cut

Financial Times – Red tape costs rise £11bn in year, says BCC


In this piece, the Financial Times asks whether anyone can just turn themselves into a serial entrepreneur. The experts seem to think not: “”Really driven people like entrepreneurs who keep doing it again and again usually have a drive that comes from something traumatic in their childhood.” Hmm, charming. 

Financial Times – The careerist: ‘The key to ambition is understanding your motivations’


A rise in demand for eco-friendly products has seen green-fingered entrepreneurs reap the benefits of their hard work. The Guardian offers several successful case studies:

The Guardian – Green entrepreneurs show business is blooming


Stelios has offered to license the ‘easyJet’ brand to the airline in return for £3m in royalty payments every year. This would be the equivalent to 0.1 per cent of the airline’s total annual revenues.

The Times – Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannous puts £3m price on peace with easyJet



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