In news this week, UK businesses remain unperturbed by the possibility of a British exit from the EU, and the build up to Small Business Saturday begins. Read below for our pick of the top stories this week.
Feature of the week
UK’s small businesses unfazed by threat of Brexit | The Telegraph
Owners of Britain’s SMEs maintain that they are not worried about the possibility of a British exit from the European Union. According to a survey, 70% of bosses have said that they don’t believe the UK’s membership of the EU has had any effect on their business planning, with just 8% of the 1,000 SMEs questioned asserting that ‘Brexit’ had a “major” effect on strategic planning.
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Lending to Northern Ireland’s SMEs increases | The Belfast Telegraph
Northern Ireland’s small business sector has seen an increase of almost 17% in loans in the first nine months of 2015, compared to the same period last year. The Bank of Ireland’s figures were released as it launched Enterprise Week, which focuses on small and medium-sized firms. The province-wide series of events are aimed at boosting cross-border trade.
Business lobby group the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) is calling on London councils and Transport for London to offer free parking for Christmas shoppers over the festive period.
With Small Business Saturday on 5 December, the FSB hopes that the organisations will reduce the car parking charges. Half of the FSB’s members said that the high price to pay for a place to park impacts on how many customers they get, as the price of parking in town centres often drives shoppers to out-of-town retail parks and larger shopping malls.
SME business overdraft platform launched | Startups.co.uk
A business overdraft platform for SMEs has launched today to address the “chronic” lack of bank overdrafts for small firms in the UK.
Offering flexible business overdrafts of up to £150,000, Growth Street will review the financial health of a firm using cloud-based software to help customers access “fairly-priced finance”.
SMEs shun apprentices despite skills shortages | Smallbusiness.co.uk
According to new data, it has been revealed that nearly half of employers have not taken on apprentices in the last three years, with two thirds saying that they consider apprenticeships inappropriate for their organisation despite there being skill shortages in an increasing number of small to medium-sized businesses.
The findings highlight the need for the government to work with employers to promote the business case for investing in apprenticeships, according to the organisation. In March, the government announcement a £180 million package to fund 50,000 new apprenticeships over the next three years.