Welcome to the latest round up of all the top headlines and news features that have been concerning small and medium businesses this week. From the major announcement of the July Budget, to some interesting models of business that are turning traditions on their head, you won’t want to miss this scoop…
Feature of the Week
The big news of the week (and month) is the release of the July Budget, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne. Being the first budget of the new parliament since the Conservatives won a majority vote in May, everyone was eager to hear the results and how it would affect them.
This budget calculator is a nifty tool for working out at a fast pace how much the Budget will affect you, in real pounds and pence. Give it a go and see how accurate you think it is.
One of the biggest announcements to come out of the Budget was the announcement of a new living wage target. Currently, we have a National Minimum Wage which is a legal requirement for all employers, and a living wage that indicates the desirable minimum, but is by no means legally mandatory.
However, this new ‘living wage’ will be compulsory for all employees aged 25 and above – effectively giving older workers a higher rate of minimum wage. See this round-up by the BBC for all the facts and figures.
Pay checks are a strictly personal issue across most businesses, and it’s generally not considered the done thing to ask how much a colleague is getting paid.
However, some businesses are throwing out this tradition with new transparent business models, in which all employees know how much everyone is paid and with what scale the salaries are worked out against. It seems to be working very well for some companies – click above to find out more.
Voice of SMEs UK-wide, the Federation of Small Businesses, has made a bid to get better internet connections for small businesses.
The group is pushing politicians to give their backing to an initiative which would invest in “first-rate” broadband for small businesses that are falling behind in the digital stakes. According to research from the FSB, a slightly shocking 45,000 businesses were operating on a dial-up connection last year.
The rate of self-employed women compared to men is jumping sharply, according to some new research conducted from government data by eBay and Development Economics.
Between 2009-2014, the number of women who were self-employed rose by 28% – compared to just a 10% rise for men. The trend was similar for France, while in Italy the rise was much smaller and in Germany it actually decreased. Click on the link above to find out more.