It’s the weekly round-up for all finance and business news that your SME needs to be caught up on. There’s a recurrent money theme in most of the headlines this week, as we look at the latest government figures that promise we’ve been vigilante with our spending, as well as a potential digital threat for small businesses who hold data online. Read on for more…
Feature of the week
The highest UK government surplus in seven years has been recorded, as the Office for National Statistics announces that January 2015 has seen £8.8bn left in the ‘bank’.
What does this mean for the UK’s finances? Borrowing has dropped by £6bn since last year (to a meagre £74bn) and the rest can be partially accounted for by public sector finance data due to tax receipts from those workers who submitted self-assessment forms. Hey, small spender.
And in other news…
UK retail sales fall 0.3% in January | BBC News
The official retail stats are in – the first of 2015 – and, naturally, we are all spending a little less than we did in December (which saw a rise of 0.2%).
However, overall we still spent more this January than in 2014. If you work in retail, you’ll want to see the BBC’s round-up for the shopping figure forecasts for the year ahead.
Complaints from small firms trigger inquiry into Capita deal | The Independent
The National Audit Office is conducting a serious review of Capita, who were awarded a £250m contract in 2012.
The contract was given to provide civil service learning and development training, but many small firms have complained that Capita is exploiting its dominant position. Read the scoop in the link above.
You may by now be familiar with the coining of ‘Grexit’, AKA a Greek exit from the EU that has been running on the rumour mill recently.
It’s been in headlines a lot due to Greek’s recent turnaround on its payment terms for the bailout they received. This article takes a great in-depth look at what would happen, to us and them, if Greece really were to exit from the Euro.
High risk of hacking for small businesses this month | SmallBusiness.co.uk
An “unprecedented level of attempted fraud” is to be expected for small businesses, according to one set of data from payment processing company Worldpay.
Following the Christmas shopping sprees, SMEs are being warned to be extra vigilant with their data protection online as hackers may capitalise on information gathered during the winter period.
Check out this article to find out how much damage a data hack like this could cost your small business, as well as some security tips to avoid breaches like this. Stay safe!