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February 01, 2013

Also in the news this week – 1 February 2013

Personal insolvencies lowest since 2008

Statistics released by RSM Tenon's Tracker system show that the number of personal insolvencies has continued to decrease – 2012 had only 112,000, a 7% drop on 2011 and the lowest level since 2008. However, 2012 was a record year in terms of Debt Relief Orders. They overtook bankruptcies as an insolvency solution for the first time, in the third quarter of 2012. Meanwhile, Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), which usually require the individual to pay creditors over a five-year period, decreased by 8% in 2012 compared to 2011.

More firms are borrowing money to pay their tax bills

The number of businesses seeking funding to pay their tax bills before the 31 January deadline jumped 60% in a year, according to Syscap, the independent finance provider. As well as paying the January tax bill, businesses will also have to pay a big VAT bill by February 7. Philip White, CEO of Syscap, said: "At the start of the recession, businesses were able to use HMRC's Time to Pay process to defer tax payments that they couldn't pay out of cash. Unfortunately that scheme has been winding down. We are seeing an ever-increasing demand from businesses for a simple funding product to cover tax payments and protect precious cash and working capital."

Small businesses to quiz politicians at 2013 FSB conference

Small business owners will get the opportunity to quiz politicians at the annual conference of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) taking place in Leicester 21-23 March 2013. As well as a Question Time-style debate, there will be a surgery session with small business minister Michael Fallon MP and shadow small business minister Toby Perkins MP. Keynote speakers include business secretary Vince Cable MP and Chuka Umunna MP, shadow business secretary.

First PopUp Britain shop opens outside London

PopUp Moreton in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, will see 12 small businesses and start-ups trading from a pop-up shop from February. It is part of PopUp Britain, which aims to help small local businesses get access to the high street via empty shops. Since the campaign started, it has helped more than 70 independent online British businesses. StartUp Britain co-founder Emma Jones said: "Because they share the cost and the space we offer on a short-term basis, they can take advantage of an affordable and manageable opportunity to make sales, test the market and meet customers face to face."

First national crowdfunding event opens its doors

The UK's first national crowdfunding conference will take place on 26 February at the University of Hertfordshire Business School. Keynote speakers at Crowdfunding: Deep Impact include Matthew Fell, director of the CBI, Julie Meyer, CEO of Ariadne Capital, MP Barry Sheerman, Luke Johnson, chair of Risk Capital Partners and conference organiser Barry James, CEO of AngelRevolutions. James said: "David Cameron, and the whole nation, are expecting entrepreneurs to become the engine of change to take us out of recession. With the banks in retreat, crowdfunding could be crucial for the future for us all." The event will bring together entrepreneurs, academics, investor networks and crowdfunding providers.