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January 11, 2013

Also in the news this week – 11 January 2013


Pocket-sized credit card processor launched has introduced the UK's first pocket sized, standalone card processing terminal with electronic receipting – specifically aimed at small traders and SMEs. The PayMate terminal allows traders to take immediate card payment, avoiding worries about chasing payment at a later date. The terminal is a fully accredited, secure chip and pin device with immediate authorisation and cardholder authentication.

New adjudicator to help struggling pub landlords

A new independent Pubs Adjudicator will be set up by the coalition Government to help landlords suffering from unfair practices. It will enforce a new statutory code that will oversee the relationship between publicans and large pub companies to ensure publicans get a fair deal on rent and the prices they pay for beer. Business secretary, Vince Cable said: "Some pubcos are exploiting and squeezing their tenants by unfair practices and a focus on short-term profits. This has led real hardship for some publicans, who are going to the wall as they struggle to survive on tiny margins."

The verdict is in – Christmas sales were up, but not by much 

"A flat end to a flat year," is how David McCorquodale, head of retail at KPMG, has described Christmas trading in 2012. Together KPMG and the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have revealed that UK retail sales values were up 0.3% on a like-for-like basis from December 2011, when they were up 2.2% on the preceding year. Online sales were up 17.8%, the fastest growth since December 2011, when they had risen by 18.5%. Helen Dickinson, BRC director general, said: "Against the relentlessly tough economic backdrop and low expectations, these results are not a cause for celebration, but not a disaster either. Online was the stand-out performer, showing its highest rate of growth this year."

Unusual items used as loan collateral by small firms

A collection of French porcelain, vintage wine, an £81,000 stamp collection and a couple of gold bars were just some of the items people have used as collateral in order to get funds for their business, according to borro, the personal asset lender. The average loan value to SMEs (who make up the majority of borro's loan book) has risen 41%, from £17,000 to £24,000, since last year. Borro CEO, Paul Aitken, said: "An increasing number of people recognise they have accumulated a wealth of personal assets that can temporarily be turned back into cash, quickly and easily. For small business owners and SMEs this is especially important when needing to realise a business opportunity that would not have otherwise been possible."