Breaking Flooring News

  • Show News
    The Flooring Show 2018 Ocean Media Group

    OCEAN MEDIA GROUP BUYS THE FLOORING SHOW

    The Flooring Show, the UK’s national flooring event, which marked its 55th edition this year, has been purchased by Ocean Media Group, a leading provider of exhibitions, events, awards and specialist publications. Owned and organised by Wendy Adams for the past five years, the show has undergone a period of regeneration and growth under her management and is now gearing up for its 2018 edition, which will run on 16-18 September at the Harrogate Convention…

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  • Flooring News
    FloorSwitch

    Floorswitch APP to revolutionise the way the world sees floors

    The ‘imagination gap’, the point between a sample request and a loss of custom, currently costs the UK flooring industry an estimated £60 million per year. FloorSwitch is set to solve this problem with their revolutionary augmented reality flooring application. Utilising the latest in mobile technology, FloorSwitch has developed the World’s most technologically advanced edge detection system. This allows users to visualise the floor with minimal to no user input. “Currently, users are required to…

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  • Flooring News
    flooring manufacturers fines

    French Competition Authority fines three leading PVC and Linoleum manufacturers €302 million over price fixing accusation

    Acting on information submitted by the Directorate General for Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF), the Autorité started proceedings ex-officio and, in 2013, conducted dawn raids in the floor coverings industry. The Autorité today published a decision sanctioning the three leading PVC and linoleum floor coverings manufacturers in France, Forbo, Gerflor and Tarkett, together with the relevant trade union, the SFEC (Syndicat Français des Enducteurs Calandreurs et Fabricants de Revêtements de Sols et Murs). The Autorité…

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  • Industrial News
    Instrarmac acquire Aztec

    Instarmac are proud to announce the acquisition of Aztec Aerosols

    Instarmac Group plc is a privately owned company established in 1977 whose primary activity is manufacturing. It has developed an excellent reputation for innovation, exceptional levels of customer support, manufacturing skills and people development. Operating within the construction and building market place the company produces products for the highway maintenance, tiling, commercial flooring, urban regeneration and internal finishing markets. Materials are manufactured at the company’s industry leading facility based near to Tamworth in the Midlands.…

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  • Firms ‘Unprepared’ For Post-Brexit Labour Market

    Almost half of businesses (47%) have unrealistic expectations on the post-Brexit immigration system, according to a study. The Resolution Foundation surveyed 503 companies who employ EU workers and found only 17% expect no change to the current immigration system, while 30% expect the current system to be retained for EU nationals offered jobs in the UK. Furthermore, 46% do not see any changes in the number of EU workers recruited for their business over the…

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  • UK Tax Gap Falls In 2014/15

    The UK tax gap between the amount of tax due and that actually collected fell to 6.5% in 2014/15, according to figures by HMRC. The tax gap was 8.3% in 2005/06. The government points to the introduction of real time information (RTI) for PAYE and the shift to VAT online as providing more accurate recording of tax information for individuals and businesses.  Further findings: the VAT tax gap fell to £10.3%, equivalent to £12.7 billion…

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  • Technical Training Conference And Trade Show

    Product Specific Training from 40+ Manufacturers in one place  The National Academy of Floor Covering Training (NAFCT) is inviting Floor Industry Professionals to attend the first annual Technical Training Conference and Trade Show.  Installers, Retailers, General Contractors, Inspectors, Claims Professionals and anyone involved in the floor coverings industry are all welcome to attend.  Manufacturer Technical representatives will each be giving 2 hour, “Hands on” and/or Powerpoint training sessions on how to use their products. TECHNICAL TRAINING, not sales…

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  • Lanes Group achieves RoSPA Gold for seventh year in a row

    Lanes Group has achieved its seventh consecutive Gold Award in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2016. The accolade qualifies the Leeds-based company, the UK’s largest independent specialist drainage and structure maintenance solutions provider, to retain its Gold Medal for achieving more than five consecutive Gold Awards. The RoSPA Awards, presented by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, are among the most prestigious occupational health and safety accolades in the UK –…

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  • Job Costs Add Up To £91 Billion A Year

       Workers spend a total of £91 billion a year on costs related to their jobs, according to research from Santander. Expenses such as commuting, clothes, childcare and equipment cost add up to an average £3,405 per year for full-time employees – up 6% from 2014 and 27% since 2013. This amount accounts to 16% of a full-time worker’s net income, up 15% from the previous year. Commuting is the most expensive aspect of being…

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  • Breaking Flooring News
    Lone Star Funds acquire Balta Group

    Lone Star Funds signs agreement to acquire Balta Group

     Lone Star Funds, a global private equity firm, have signed a definitive agreement to acquire Balta Group, the leading European carpets and rugs manufacturer, from Doughty Hanson, a European private equity firm, Filip Balcaen and Management for an undisclosed sum. The transaction is expected to close at the end of August.  Founded in 1964, Balta Group is a global market leader in mechanically-woven rugs and is the European market leader in wall-to-wall carpets. It also…

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  • Government Curbs Holiday Pay Ruling

    Employers may see the potential costs caused by the November 2014 holiday pay ruling reduced after the government announced measures to limit employees’ ability to claim backdated holiday pay. The government has submitted draft regulations that would mean employers are only liable to pay backdated holiday claims for a maximum of 2 years. The changes will only apply to claims made from 1 July 2015 onwards. The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled in November that employers…

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  • Errors Found In A Third Of Credit Reports

    More than a third of people who have checked their credit report in the last 2 years have found errors, research by uSwitch has found. A credit report summarises a person’s financial history and is used by credit providers to determine their creditworthiness. The survey of more than 2,000 people found that 38% have found mistakes made by credit referencing agencies. The most common errors are: the wrong credit product or service was listed (39%)…

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  • Small Firms Predict 2015 Growth

    Almost two thirds of small businesses are predicting business growth in 2015, according to a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The FSB members’ survey found that 62% of respondents are optimistic that their business will grow over the next 12 months. The Q4 2014 survey of almost 1,800 small firms found that: productivity grew 1.1% compared to Q4 2013 16% took on more staff while 11% reduced staff numbers businesses in the…

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  • Pensioner Bonds Interest Rates Announced

    The interest rate on National Savings and Investments pensioner bonds has been announced by the government. The 1-year bond will pay an annual interest rate of 2.8% and the 3-year bond will pay 4%. Important information: people aged 65 and over can invest in the bonds the minimum investment is £500 the maximum investment is £10,000 per bond. The bonds will go on sale in January 2015 and will be available for a limited period.…

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  • Small Firms Suffer From Poor Payment Practices

    Almost 1 in 5 small businesses have suffered from poor payment practices during the past 2 years, research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The survey of 2,500 FSB member businesses found that 17% have faced various forms of “supply chain bullying”. The FSB has compiled a list of the most disliked payment practices based on the survey findings: ‘Pay to stay’ fees Some companies charge suppliers fees to remain on their supplier list…

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  • Auto Enrolment Hits 5 Million Milestone

    The number of employees automatically enrolled into a workplace pension scheme has reached 5 million, according to the Pensions Regulator. The figures show that more than 42,700 employers have enrolled their employees into a workplace scheme since auto enrolment was launched in 2012. Auto enrolment has now been rolled out to over half of all eligible workers. Charles Counsell, executive director for auto-enrolment at the Pensions Regulator, said: “Automatic enrolment affects every employer with workers…

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  • Employees Unaware Of Workplace Benefits

    Almost 1 in 7 workers are unaware of the workplace benefit packages offered by their employers, according to research conducted by Friends Life and YouGov. The survey of more than 12,200 employees found that almost 15% didn’t know what pensions and insurance benefits their employer provided. Almost 10,800 people were asked about the things that would encourage them to buy a financial product through their employer: contributions or subsidies from their employer (42%) a better…

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  • Businesses Fail To Act On Employee Wellbeing

    Three quarters of employers believe that unhealthy employees pose a business risk, yet 1 in 3 do not provide workplace health support, research by Bupa has found. The healthcare specialists surveyed almost 1,800 employers and more than 17,000 workers across 5 different countries. Three in 4 (73%) employers said that a healthy workforce is more productive but 30% of employees said that they do not receive healthcare benefits from their employer. Three in 10 (26%)…

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  • Durability Of Pension Reforms Questioned

    The government’s flagship pension policies may not survive a change of government, according to a survey of financial advisers by investment platform provider AJ Bell. The Chancellor’s 2014 Budget pensions freedoms, which will eliminate the requirement for pension savers to buy annuities, will be introduced in April 2015. The research by AJ Bell found that many financial advisers doubt the durability of the reforms: 64% said they don’t think the changes would last 12 months…

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  • New Stamp Duty Regime In Force

    As outlined in the Chancellor George Osborne’s 2014 Autumn Statement, major changes to the way stamp duty land tax (SDLT) is charged on residential property purchases in England and Wales are now in effect. From 00:00 on Thursday 4 December 2014, SDLT is charged at different rates depending on the portion of the purchase price that falls within a certain rate band. Rates are applied only to the portion of the property’s value that exceeds…

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  • Autumn Statement 2014: Expectations

    The Chancellor George Osborne will deliver the final Autumn Statement of this parliament early this afternoon. We look at what certain interested parties are calling for or expecting from the Chancellor’s speech. Here’s a round-up of 5 hot topics of discussion: Business rates reform Many figures in the business community have called for further reform to business rates. The Forum of Private Businesses (FPB) wants a cap on rates and the Federation of Small Businesses…

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  • SME Manufacturers Plan Investment

    Almost three quarters of SME manufacturers are planning to invest in technology, premises or machinery in the next 6 months, a report by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS) has found. The survey of more than 850 SME manufacturers found that 69% expect to increase their capital investments in 2015 in a bid to increase business productivity. More than half (57%) said they have already boosted their productivity over the last 6 months. The survey also…

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  • Shared Parental Leave Comes Into Effect

    New Shared Parental Leave regulations have come into effect, allowing parents more flexibility in how they look after their child during the first year after birth. The rules will allow couples with babies born or adopted from April 2015 to share the mother’s maternity leave. The government expects that up to 285,000 couples stand to benefit from the reforms. Under Shared Parental Leave: mothers will take a minimum of 2 weeks maternity leave after giving…

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  • Employees Reluctant To Ask About Flexible Working

    More than a third of employees are hesitant to ask their employers about flexible working options, a YouGov survey commissioned by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has found. The poll of almost 1300 workers revealed that 42% are reluctant to ask their employer for more flexibility despite almost 9 in 10 firms offering flexible working. The survey found: 42% of respondents said they would feel uncomfortable asking their employer for flexible working, while 40%…

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  • Employers Urged To Combat Skills Shortage

    Employers should take the lead in tackling workplace skills shortages, according to a report from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). The Growth Through People report urges employers to take initiative in developing the skills of the UK workforce and sets out 5 key priorities to address over the next 20 years: Employers to take the leadership on skill development: Employers should focus on collaborating with other businesses, employees and trade unions to…

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  • Boost Sharing Economy With Tax Cuts, Says IoD

    Individuals should be able to earn up to £10,000 a year tax-free by sharing their time or resources, the Institute of Directors (IoD) has said. The IoD has recommended that the government should extend the principle of the Rent a Room Scheme to other areas of the economy such as car sharing or hiring assets. Currently people can earn up to £4,250 per year without paying income tax by renting out a room in their…

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  • Majority Of Micro Businesses Are Home Based

    More than 8 out of 10 micro businesses are based in the home, according to research by Lloyds Bank Insurance. The report found that 84% of micro business owners have decided to base their business at their house, while more than half (53%) were started in the home. The main reasons for working from home were: working from home provides more flexibility (84%) home-based businesses are cheaper to run (64%) working at home improves productivity…

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  • Gender Pay Gap At Record Low

    The average pay gap between men and women has shrunk to its lowest figure since comparative records began in 1997, official figures reveal. Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows the gender pay gap was 9.4% in April 2014. The gap has narrowed from 17.4% in 1997 and 10% in April 2013. ONS data shows: the private sector gender pay gap shrunk from 19.2% to 17.5% in the year to April 2014…

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  • SMEs Confident About Growth Prospects

    Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are predicting strong growth in turnover during the next 5 years, according to a survey by Santander. The survey of 500 business owners found that SMEs with annual turnover of up to £20 million are forecasting turnover to increase by 33%. The research indicates that SMEs are positive about their future prospects: 20% of business owners said their business had never been healthier, up from 13% in 2013 17% s…

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  • Small Firms Lack Savings Accounts

    Less than a third of small and micro-sized businesses put money into a business savings account, research by Aldermore has found. The SME bank surveyed more than 1,000 firms and found that 31% have a savings account. Firms were asked the reasons for using a business savings account: 40% of small and micro firms have a savings account to cope with unexpected costs 35% use a savings account for taxes 34% said they use it…

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  • Auto-Enrolment Closes Pensions Gender Gap

    The gap between the number of men and women saving the minimum amount for a comfortable retirement has closed in the last 12 months, a survey by Scottish Widows has revealed. Scottish Widows calculates the minimum amount of yearly savings needed for a comfortable retirement is 12% of income. Half of women are saving at least 12% of their income for retirement, compared to 55% of men. The proportion of people saving adequately has significantly increased…

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  • Employers Generous With Auto-Enrolment Contributions

    Employers are contributing more to employee pension pots than is legally required under auto-enrolment, research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has found. The survey of more than 1,000 employers found that the average employer contribution rate is 5.6% of salary and the average employee contributes 4.7%. The legal requirement is that employers and employees contribute 1% of salary each. The research found: 59% of employees contribute less than 6% of their salary 25% of…

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  • Pension Lump Sum Tax Implications Not Understood

    Thousands of people could be pushed into the higher rate tax bracket if they take advantage of the new pension freedoms from April 2015, research by MGM Advantage has found. Next year, members of defined contribution pension schemes will be able to take their retirement savings as lump sums without having to buy an annuity. But new research has found that 60,000 people due to retire after April 2015 could expose themselves to the 40%…

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  • Local Authorities Want To Set Business Rates

    Local councils should have the power to set business rates, the Local Government Association (LGA) has told the Chancellor. The LGA, which represents local authorities across the country, is calling on the government to allow councils to set their own business rates in order to benefit local businesses. Currently, national government sets the charge and receives 50% of business rates income which it then redistributes to local authorities. The LGA is urging the government to:…

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  • Financial Taboos Revealed

    Almost half of people think that finances are a personal matter that should not be talked about, a study from Legal & General has revealed. Researchers found that 46% of people prefer not to discuss their finances even though money is a major cause of stress for more than two fifths of the population (41%). The survey of more than 2,000 people found that: 10% aren’t comfortable with talking to their partner about debts 10% regularly talk…

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  • Small Firms Fuel Economic Growth

    More than a third of economic growth in 2013 was created by fast growing small firms, a report by Octopus Investments and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) has found. The study found that high growth small businesses (HGSBs) were responsible for 36.2%of last year’s economic growth, despite representing just 1% of UK businesses and 3.4% of the total UK economy. HGSBs also created 68% of all employment growth from 2012 to 2013 – more than…

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  • Pension Reforms Questioned By Industry Body

    The government’s pension reforms still raise many “questions and uncertainties”, the National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) has said. The industry body submitted 101 questions to the government in response to the Pension Schemes Bill – the legislation that will introduce the pension reforms announced in the 2014 Budget. From April 2015, members of defined contribution schemes will be able to take their pension in multiple lump sums without having to buy an annuity or…

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  • EU Regulation Cuts Benefit SMEs

    British businesses have saved more than £200 million during the first year of a government campaign to reduce EU regulations, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has announced. Last year, the government’s EU taskforce issued a list of 30 recommendations to the EU Commission of which 10 have been acted upon. EU Regulation Cuts Benefit SMEs small firms will not be included in new EU rules for non-financial reporting legislation regulating traineeships will…

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  • Small Firms Lack Employers Liability Insurance

    More than half of small businesses do not have employers’ liability cover, a survey by AXA Business Insurance has found. The survey found that, out of the 365 small businesses surveyed, 53% were either unaware of employers’ liability cover or had not taken out an insurance plan. The research defines small businesses as sole traders to those with less than 9 employees. The insurance provider also polled 2,000 workers about the effects of work on…

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  • Majority Look Forward To Retirement

    More than half of people aged 50-70 are excited about their plans for retirement, according to a survey by Skipton Building Society. 28% of people surveyed said they were indifferent about the thought of retirement and 9% were not looking forward to their retired years. Despite the general enthusiasm, planning for retirement is still an issue: 22% said they had no or incomplete retirement plans 30% of those without plans don’t know if they have…

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  • Tribunal Says Holiday Pay Should Include Overtime

    Thousands of businesses are facing additional costs after a tribunal ruled that overtime should be included in holiday pay calculations. The Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that employers must factor in overtime when calculating holiday pay, instead of only taking basic pay into account. The tribunal also said that employees could make backdated claims if it has been less than 3 months since their last holiday. A survey by EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, found that 93%…

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  • Retirees Support Families Financially

    More than a quarter of retirees have given financial support to members of their family, research by LV= has found. The survey of more than 2,000 retirees found that 28% had given money to their family. The research found: 39% of retirees in London have provided financial support to family members this compares to 15% of retirees in Wales. The survey also looked into the life changes that occur in retirement: 32% of retirees said…

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  • Self-Employed Pension Saving Falls

    Less than a quarter of self-employed men are saving money for retirement into a personal pension, official figures show. Pension data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that just 22% of self-employed men put money into a personal pension in 2012/13. This compares to 62% in 1996/97 and 37% in 2005/06. Statistical data reveals that in January-March 2013: there were 4.2 million self-employed workers aged 16 and over 58% were male full-time…

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  • Employment Costs For Small Firms Revealed

    Small businesses pay an average of £35,500 to hire their first employee, according to research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). In comparison, businesses with 20-49 employees face a bill of £25,100 per worker. The report into employment costs for small firms found that a small business with 7 workers faced total employment costs averaging £189,600 in 2013. Of this, 15.1% was spent on non-wage…

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  • Committee To Examine Prompt Payment Code

    Businesses and the public sector will lead a new advisory board designed to strengthen the Prompt Payment Code (PPC), the government has announced. The PPC is a government-backed scheme aimed at prompting businesses to pay their suppliers on time and avoid late payments. More than 1,700 firms and public bodies have signed up to the principles of the PPC so far. Despite the PCC, late payment is still a problem for small businesses. In July…

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  • Consumers Face Retirement Uncertainty

    Consumers lack confidence in their long-term savings and investments, research by Which? has found. The consumer group surveyed more than 2,200 people and found that just 19% trust long-term financial products such pensions and investments. The survey found: 57% of consumers are concerned about the value of their pension 60% of non-retired people don’t know how much they need to save for retirement 51% don’t know how much they will spend each week in retirement…

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  • SMEs Warned About Cyber Threats

    Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) should do more to protect themselves against online fraud and IT security risks, a panel of experts has said. Experts from government and industry have created a simple action plan for SMEs as part of the Cyber Streetwise campaign, which raises awareness about the importance of cyber security to SMEs and consumers. The experts recommend that SMEs: train staff to understand and prevent cyber threats ensure software is secure by…

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  • Short Service Pension Refunds To Be Abolished

    People who change jobs regularly will no longer have to cash in or move their workplace pension, under new government proposals. Currently members of workplace defined contribution (DC) pension schemes are able to cash in their contributions if they have been working for an employer for more than 3 months but less than 2 years. This is known as a short service refund. Taking a short service refund is sometimes optional but employers can insist…

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  • Small Firms Want Auto-Enrolment Delay

    More than 9 out of 10 employers who have not yet started automatically enrolling employees into a workplace pension would like to delay until the government has confirmed final details of the upcoming pension reforms. Employers must start enrolling eligible employees into a workplace pension on a specified date known as their staging date. More than a million businesses with fewer than 60 employees will have their staging dates between October 2014 and 2018. A…

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  • Pension Charge Cap Confirmed

    Pension charges will be capped at 0.75% per year from April 2015, the Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed. Under the plans first announced in March 2014, the cap will be on all charges to manage and invest the default funds of defined contribution (DC) schemes. Under the proposals: a 0.75% charge cap will be introduced on DC pension scheme charges this will cover all charges apart from transaction costs the cap will be…

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  • Small Firms Want Auto-Enrolment Delay

    More than 9 out of 10 employers who have not yet started automatically enrolling employees into a workplace pension would like to delay until the government has confirmed final details of the upcoming pension reforms. Employers must start enrolling eligible employees into a workplace pension on specified date known as their staging date. More than a million businesses with fewer than 60 employees will have their staging dates between October 2014 and 2018. A survey…

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  • SME Owners Not Identifying As Entrepreneurs

    Small business owners are unlikely to consider themselves entrepreneurs, research by AXA has found. Less than half of individuals questioned identified with the title ‘entrepreneur’ and a similar number rejected the label altogether. However, the research found differences between age, gender and region: 82% of small business owners under 24 claim to be entrepreneurs, compared with 32% of over 55s 52% of men see themselves as entrepreneurs but only 38% of women feel the same…

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  • Savings Fall Between Spring And Summer

    The amount people saved each month fell between spring and summer 2014, both as a percentage of monthly income and in terms of value, according to National Savings and Investments (NS&I). NS&I’s latest quarterly survey of saving habits found that the average person saved 7.63% of their monthly income in June, July and August – or £101.66. This is down from 8.21% (£105.43) in the previous quarter. Other interesting findings from the survey: men saved almost…

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  • Funding For SME Business Advice

    Small businesses will be able to get funding for advice from business schools under a project run by the Small Business Charter. The Growth Voucher scheme allows businesses to apply for a voucher to match funding of up to £2,000 towards the cost of advice provided by selected business schools. Six schools have confirmed their participation in the award scheme: Aston University Loughborough University Nottingham Trent Southampton Solent University College London University of Nottingham. These…

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  • Switch Guarantee Popular With Consumers

    There has been a 22% increase on the number of bank account switches since the Current Account Switch Service was introduced in September 2013, according to figures from the Payments Council. More than 1.2 million bank accounts were changed in the year to September 2014, compared to 985,000 the year before. The Current Account Switch Service aims to increase competition in the banking sector by making it simpler for consumers to change their current accounts.…

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  • Unemployment Rate Falls To 6%

    The number of unemployed people fell by 154,000 to 1.97 million between June and August 2014, according to official figures. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures reveal that the unemployment was 6% between June and August 2014 – the lowest since August 2008. Key ONS employment figures: 30.76 million people were in work between June and August 2014 this is 736,000 more people in work than during the same period a year earlier 73%…

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  • Bill Introduces April 2015 Pension Reforms

    Draft legislation that sets out the pension reforms announced at the 2014 Budget has now been published. The Taxation of Pensions Bill will change the tax rules to allow over 55s to access their defined contribution pension pots with more flexibility from April 2015. Under current rules, savers who want to take their pension as a lump sum take 25% of their pot tax-free and put the remaining 75% in a drawdown account. Any amount…

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  • Couples Struggle With Financial Planning

    Couples discuss their future finances but fail to turn their conversations into action, research by Prudential has found. The survey found that 79% of couples have talked about their financial plans in the last year. However, 52% say they cannot agree on a target figure for their joint retirement income. The survey of more than 1,850 adults over 40 years-old revealed: 61% of couples have discussed retirement planning in the last 12 months 18% still…

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  • Female representation increases on boards

    Female representation on FTSE 100-listed companies has continued to increase, government figures have shown. Women now account for 22.8% of FTSE 100 board members, up from 20.7% in March 2014. Female representation on FTSE 250 boards had increased to 17.4%, up from 15.6% in March 2014. The government has set a target of 25% gender diversity in FTSE 100 and 250 boardrooms by 2015. The statistics show that: women account for 27.9% of non-executive directorships…

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  • Faster wage growth for private sector

    Private sector wages are likely to rise faster than those in the public sector during the next 5 years, a report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has found. The economic research body said that the pay gap between the public and private sectors has returned to pre-crisis levels. The report found: pay for women is 8% higher in the public sector than in the private sector men in both sectors are paid similar…

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  • Savers face retirement shortfall

    People saving for retirement are facing an average financial shortfall of almost £100 per week in retirement, a study by Friends Life has found. Data on the savings habits of more than 18,000 people revealed that: the average expected retirement income is £409 per week the average actual retirement income is £312 per week the average weekly deficit for retirement savers is £96.67. The study revealed differences between the UK’s regions and cities: Londoners are…

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  • Shop prises fall 1.8% in September

    Shop prices fell by 1.8% in the year to September 2014, according to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Nielsen. This deflation follows the 1.6% drop in prices in the year to August 2014 and is the seventeenth consecutive month that overall shop prices have fallen. BRC figures for September reveal: food inflation stayed at 0.3%, equalling the lowest ever recorded fresh food prices were flat – the first time prices have not…

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  • Over 55’s unmoved by pension reforms

    The majority of people aged over 55 do not think the government’s pension reforms will impact them, according to a report by Aviva. From April 2015, retirees will have greater freedom to choose how they access their pension savings. This includes being able to take lump sums without incurring a 55% tax charge on withdrawals above the 25% tax-free limit. Instead, withdrawals will be taxed at the person’s marginal rate of income tax. Aviva found…

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  • Over 65’s best at reviewing savings

    People over 65 are most likely to monitor the performance of their savings and switch to better-paying accounts, a survey by Gocompare has found. The survey asked more than 2,000 adults about their savings habits. It found that people aged over 65 are actively tracking the return on their savings: 25% of over 65s switch their savings accounts to get better returns 40% regularly review their savings 35% know the interest rate on their savings.…

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  • Brand Britain boosts businesses

    Products labelled ‘Made in Britain’ are more attractive to overseas consumers than those with no declared country of origin, a study by Barclays Corporate Banking has found. The research found that 64% of consumers in new and emerging markets are more likely to buy a product when it displays the Union Flag. The study was conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and combined a survey of more than 7,500 people with export…

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  • Majority of firms lack faith in young people

    Nearly 9 in 10 businesses think young people leaving school are not prepared for the workplace, a study by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has found. The workforce survey received responses from almost 3,000 companies and found that 88% believe that school leavers are ill equipped for the world of work. In comparison, 54% think graduates are unprepared for the workplace. The study found: 76% of firms think lack of work experience is one…

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  • A third to inherit family assets

    A third of UK adults expect to inherit money or property from family members, according to a survey by GoCompare.com. The price comparison site polled more than 2,000 people and found 33% expect they or their partner will inherit assets. Four in 10 (41%) of these predict the inheritance will be worth more than £50,000. A quarter of respondents said they expect to inherit more than £100,000. The survey also found: 43% of respondents said…

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  • New online venture capital initiative announced

    SMEs will be able to get help securing finance from angel and venture capital investors online. Online venture investment company, JustInvesting will run the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills’s GrowthShowcase, a website created by Innovate UK and Growth Accelerator. The GrowthShowcase platform will match high quality, investment-ready SMEs to suitable investors. The website will simplify venture investment and portfolio-management for investors by bringing all investment activities onto a single platform. Businesses and entrepreneurs looking…

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  • UK SME’s outperform European rivals when Exporting

    UK SMEs have seen bigger increases in their export turnover than their European counterparts, a survey by UPS has found. The survey of more than 8,000 SMEs across 7 European countries found that an average 43% of European exporting SMEs have increased turnover exporting within and outside the EU. However, UK SMEs were 26% more successful at increasing export turnover than the European average when exporting inside the EU. UK SMEs were 29% more successful when exporting to the rest of…

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  • Ground-breaking ceremony signals start of transformation of Norwich gateway

    A special ground-breaking ceremony has taken place to celebrate the inception of a new student housing and community development set to revitalise the area around Norwich bus station. Brenda Arthur, Leader of Norwich Council, wielded the spade on the site of the Brazen Gate, part of Norwich’s historic city wall, attended by representatives from the project’s student housing specialists, Alumno Developments, the main contractor, Morgan Sindall, architects, Carson & Partners and Norwich University of the…

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  • Tax on inherited pensions abolished

    The 55% tax charge on inherited pensions will be abolished from April 2015, the Chancellor George Osborne has announced. Inherited defined contribution (DC) pensions that have a drawdown arrangement or have not been accessed will face new tax treatment depending on the age of the owner on death. New rules Death after 75 – the beneficiary pays income tax on the pension at their marginal rate. Funds can be accessed in any way including a lump…

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  • Credit rating factors misunderstood

    Just 2 out of 5 financial decision makers in UK SMEs have ever checked the business’s credit report, a survey by Experian has found. Of these, 44% checked their report more than 6 months ago and ‘curiosity’, rather than wanting to improve their access to credit, was the main reason for doing so. The survey also found that just 13% were ‘completely aware’ of the factors that influence their credit score. Only 39% of micro…

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  • Slightly older peers key to financial education

    Young people aged 16-21 could benefit from hearing financial mismanagement stories from those in the 22-29 age bracket, a report by the Money Advice Service has suggested. The money management advisory group conducted research among 16-21 year-olds and the 22-29 age group to understand their attitudes, behaviours and regrets towards money. The research found several common themes among 16-21 year-olds. They tend to: give little thought to the consequences of their actions have faith that…

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  • Micro-business numbers surge

    The number of micro businesses in the UK has grown by 43% since 2000, a report by insurance group RSA has found. Micro firms are businesses employing between 0 and 9 workers. The research found: 1.4 million new micro firms have launched since 2000 micro firms are the only size category to have increased their proportion of UK businesses since 2000 zero-employee firms are the fastest growing business size zero-employee firms have increased 21% since the…

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  • Small firms unprepared for data loss

    Less than a third of small businesses have plans to ensure business continuity in the event of data loss, according to a report by disaster recovery firm Databarracks. Just 30% of the small businesses surveyed have procedures in place to help them cope with data loss. This compares with 54% of medium-sized companies and 73% of large firms. The most common causes of data loss are: hardware failure (21%) software failure (19%) human error (18%)…

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  • Pension changes boost confidence

    More than 4 in 10 pension savers feel more confident about their pension schemes following the reforms announced at the 2014 Budget, a survey for the Association of Investment Companies (AIC) has found. The YouGov survey of more than 3,000 UK adults found that 44% feel more positive about their retirement saving since the new pension freedoms were announced earlier this year. Respondents said their main reasons for being more positive were: having flexible access…

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  • Restrictive rules on savings accounts

    Four in 10 popular savings accounts come with restrictions that prevent customers accessing their savings, research by Which? has found. The consumer rights group analysed 285 instant-access savings accounts and cash NISAs and found that 39% had hidden rules and limitations. The research found: 11.2% of instant-access accounts restrict the number of withdrawals you can make during the year 9 of the 18 of the highest-paying instant-access accounts reduce or stop interest after making a…

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  • SME owners in work/life struggle

    Almost two-thirds of SME owners say running a business is a ‘constant challenge’, a survey for card payment provider First Data Merchant Solutions has found. YouGov asked more than 1,000 SME owners about their work-life balance and found that 44% have missed a personal occasion because they were too busy running the business. The survey found: 11% have been unable to attend an anniversary celebration with their partner 1 in 10 failed to attend a…

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  • Firms call for business rates reform

    More than 100 of Britain’s biggest businesses have called on political parties to reform the business rates system. The group of 107 businesses said the current system is “no longer fit for purpose” in an open letter calling on the 3 main political parties to commit to “fundamental reform” at the next general election. The British Retail Consortium (BRC), which coordinated the action, said British businesses pay the highest property taxes in Europe. “A modern,…

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  • Equity investments to boost retirement income

    One third of over-55s who have yet to retire plans to use stocks and shares in retirement to offset the effects of inflation on their income, according to research by MGM Advantage. Two separate surveys of more than 2,000 people found that 53% of respondents rank the rising cost of living as their biggest fear for retirement. Of those aged 55 or over and still working, 32% said they would retain some stocks and shares…

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  • Online sales growth at 10 month high

    The online retail sector grew by 18% in the year to August 2014, according to e-retail industry body IMRG. Around £8.1 billion was spent online between August 2013 and August 2014, the highest level of growth since November 2013. The IMRG figures also show: the clothing sector recorded annual growth of 20% the accessories subsector grew by 60% year-on-year the home subsector has grown by just 1% since August 2013. Separate figures published by the…

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  • Annuity sales fall by a third

    The number of annuities sold fell by a third between the first and second quarters of 2014, according to figures published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI). The figures reveal that 27,902 fewer annuities were sold in Q2 2014 than in Q1 2014 – a fall of 37.5%. The total value of annuities sold fell from £2.5 billion in Q1 to £1.8 billion in Q2. The statistics also show: 55% of people who bought…

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  • Peer-to-Peer Lending exceeds £2bn

    Peer-to-peer lenders have given more than £2 billion to businesses and individuals, according to data published by AltFi. The total amount lent has doubled from £1 billion to £2.004 billion since December 2013. The sector has experienced rapid growth so far this year, growing by an average annualised rate of 158%. Peer-to-peer lenders connect individual borrowers or businesses with savers and investors. Savers can receive a better return on their investments than they would using…

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  • New support for online exporters

    UK businesses will have access to a new package of services designed to boost online exports, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) has announced. The e-Exporting programme will provide face-to-face advice to businesses looking to develop an online exporting strategy. UKTI is working with international e-marketplaces to increase the reach of UK online retail exports – forecast to reach £60 billion by 2018. Members of the programme will benefit from: free advice from a UKTI e-Exporting…

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  • Annuity rates fall 2.6% in August

    Annuity rates saw their biggest monthly falls in 3 years in August 2014, according to figures published by Investment Life and Pensions Moneyfacts. The figures reveal: annual income from a standard annuity fell 2.6% during August 2014 monthly income fell from £2,874 to £2797 – a difference of £77 the fall in monthly income equates to £1,540 less income over a 20 year retirement standard annuity income is down by 3.2% during 2014 this is…

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  • Retirees avoid cashing in full pension pot

    Fewer than 1 in 10 retirees will take their entire pension savings as a lump sum when the government’s pension reforms are introduced in 2015, according to research by Fidelity Worldwide Investment. The survey of 500 people retiring between April 2015 and March 2016 suggests that new pension freedoms have not tempted the majority of next year’s retirees to withdraw their entire pot. More than half (54%) said they will take advantage of the changes…

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  • Current account interest rates a priority

    More than a quarter of people look for a higher interest rate when deciding whether they should switch their current account, according to research by MoneySuperMarket. The price comparison website analysed search data and found that 27% of consumers prioritise in-credit interest when choosing their current account. A fifth prefer accounts that offer cashback and 10% look for quality customer service. Popular current account search terms include: interest (27%) cashback (20%) customer service (10%) benefits…

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  • 1 in 7 dont plan to retire

    One in 7 adults do not plan to retire, according to a poll conducted by ICM on behalf of Barings Asset Management. Many more people are uncertain about when they will retire, with 34% of survey respondents reporting that they have no set retirement age. The number of over-65s who do not know when they will retire has increased with 30% saying their retirement date is uncertain. This compares to 18% in 2013, 15% in…

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  • SME’s look to find investment plans

    Three in 5 SMEs are confident they can secure a bank loan to fund investment plans, research by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks has found. The survey of more than 850 SMEs found that buying equipment, premises and recruiting more staff are the top investment priorities. The poll also reveals that many SMEs are increasingly optimistic about the future and now feel confident enough to begin investing in growth: 37% surveyed SMEs are more likely to…

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  • SME’s want better government support

    Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have mixed feelings about government initiatives to help them grow, research by Aviva has found. A third of business owners think there is enough government support and advice available but 43% say there is not enough. Help SMEs want from the government: cut accounting red tape for small businesses (49%) reduce VAT (27%) reduce corporation tax for small businesses (39%) lower National Insurance bills (18%). Despite the mixed sentiment towards…

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  • Small firms Blinkered

    A third of SMEs are unaware of funding options other than the traditional forms offered by their high street bank, a survey by Aviva has found. Some 29% of surveyed firms said they weren’t aware of ‘alternative’ options – such as peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding – for financing their business plans. The figure rises to 80% among sole traders. Other interesting findings about alternative finance: just 19% of SMEs have considered an alternative funding option…

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  • Small firms blinkered to alternative finance

    A third of SMEs are unaware of funding options other than the traditional forms offered by their high street bank, a survey by Aviva has found. Some 29% of surveyed firms said they weren’t aware of ‘alternative’ options – such as peer-to-peer lending and crowdfunding – for financing their business plans. The figure rises to 80% among sole traders. Other interesting findings about alternative finance: just 19% of SMEs have considered an alternative funding option…

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  • Loans to first-time home buyers in Northern Ireland increased 29%

    Loans to first-time home buyers in Northern Ireland increased 29% in the last year and 13% in the last quarter, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed. The 1,800 first-time buyers in Northern Ireland borrowed £150 million in Q2 2014 – 25% more than the previous quarter and 36% more than Q2 2013. Important figures about first-time buyers in Northern Ireland: they borrow 2.9 times their gross income; the UK average is 3.46 the…

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  • Simpler accounting rules planned

    Thousands of medium-sized businesses will be able to submit simpler accounts with Companies House under government proposals. Some businesses that are currently classed as medium-sized for accounting purposes would be considered ‘small’ under plans to enforce new EU rules in the UK. This is because the government plans to use the EU’s maximum thresholds for defining a small company instead of the minimum. This means firms could submit less detailed accounts if they have: a…

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  • Home owners unaware of mortgage rates

    Almost half of people do not know the current rate of their mortgage, research by communications campaigner Keep Me Posted has found. The consumer group surveyed more than 1,000 people and found that 42% of UK mortgage holders are unaware of the interest rate on their mortgage. The research also reveals that many people do not realise the potential effects of a rise in the base rate of interest. Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) respondents…

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  • Businesses back EU rethink

    The majority of British businesses favour a renegotiated relationship with the EU with certain powers returning to Westminster, a British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) survey has found. Of the 3,200 businesses surveyed by the BCC, 60% wanted to see a renegotiated relationship – a 6% increase on Q1 2014. The survey also found that: 59% of firms think the UK’s business and economic prospects would be damaged by leaving the EU – a 2% fall…

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  • SME lending under government scheme falls again

    Lending to SMEs under the government’s Funding for Lending (FLS) scheme fell by £435 million in Q2 2014, according to the latest figures from the Bank of England (BoE). Large corporates borrowed £3.5 billion less under the scheme in the second quarter of the year, meaning net lending to all businesses fell by almost £4 billion on the quarter. Banks and building societies that participate in the FLS can borrow from the BoE at lower-than-market…

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  • Economey to grow 3.2% in 2014

    The UK economy will this year grow by more than 3% for the first time since 2007, according to updated forecasts from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Updating its projections for the rest of the year and through to 2016, the BCC said it expects GDP growth of 3.2% in 2014 – 0.1% higher than its previous estimate in May. Other interesting figures from the BCC’s updated economic forecasts include: 2.8% GDP growth is…

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  • Financial jargon confuses consumers

    Consumers don’t understand the financial jargon used by banks and building societies, according to a survey by National Savings & Investments (NS&I). The poll of more than 1,200 adults found that 67% of Brits know what a BACS payment is and 38% know what AER stands for. More than half (53%) know what ISA means and 55% understand the term gross. The survey reveals: 50% are confused with jargon on company websites 25% of people…

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  • Exporter confidence rises

    More than two thirds of British exporters expect their turnover to increase over the next 12 months, a joint British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)/DHL Express survey has revealed. The research, which surveyed more than 2,300 exporting firms, found that 70% think their turnover will improve in the next year, 10% more than in Q2 2013. The levels of optimism varied between sectors. Exporting manufacturers were more confident in Q2 2014, with 72% expecting turnover growth…

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