June 22, 2012
Record numbers become self-employed
Almost 4.2 million people were registered as self-employed over the three months to April, the highest figure since records began in 1992, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). But Gerwyn Davies, labour market policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), said: “Previous analysis from the CIPD found that the recent rise was less a sign of a resurgent enterprise culture, and more evidence of a growing army of part-time ‘odd jobbers’ desperate to avoid unemployment.”
SMEs play music to avoid awkward silences
More than three quarters (77%) of SMEs say that playing music in the workplace increases staff morale and creates a better working environment, according to new research carried out by music licensing organisations PPL and PRS for Music. The survey of 1,008 small business owners also found that 75% believe that background music can help to relieve tension and awkward silences. In addition, 65% say music in the workplace makes their employees more productive and 40% believe that playing music can increase sales.
Tax system discourages business growth says new IoD research
A new report from the Institute of Directors (IoD), Tax — the Weighty Burden, reveals that the British tax system increases the burden on businesses as they grow. When all business taxes are taken in to account, its research shows that even the smallest businesses pay more than 30% of their profits in tax, while medium-sized businesses pay more than 40%. Richard Baron, head of taxation at the IoD, said: “At a time when there are already so many economic risks and unemployment is so stubbornly high, we cannot afford to make it so difficult for businesses to invest and grow.”
SMEs slow to seize overseas opportunities
52% of UK SMEs have no plans to expand into overseas markets in 2012, according to research carried out by RSM Tenon. But of those that already do business overseas (42%), the research found that just over half were planning to expand on their exporting activity in 2012. The research also showed that businesses in the South of England and the Midlands were most likely to further expand their exporting activity. At the same time, of those companies that currently do not export at all, it was companies in the north (6%) that were most likely to start doing business overseas in 2012.
Marginal increase in insolvencies masks problems in key sectors
Company failure rates will remain almost flat during the second quarter of 2012, according to the latest Graydon UK Insolvency Predictor. But the figures mask greater numbers of insolvencies in the construction, real estate and retail sectors. Second quarter company liquidations will increase marginally (up 1.4 %) on the first three months of 2012. But failure rates in the construction (up 2.1 %), retail (up 2.5 %) and real estate (up 5.3 %) sectors, sit above the overall projected trend level.