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LATEST! 31st March 2013
(scroll down to see full list; previous month's (February 2013) Viewpoint); Latest eBOSS contents

Scroll down for: A Home and Small Business Viewpoint by Len Tondel, from 1st March 2012

By way of explanation. The term 'home business' consists of two words. 'Business' is the second one; it's there to qualify and support the word 'home' and all that goes with it - and not vice versa. Consequently, we also list below, items which are of interest and value to the home. Whether in its context as an office or as a part of your family and lifestyle but always directed at the improved prospects and enjoyment that running a business from home, in its entirety, can bring.

For a current, multi-part overview of starting and running a business from home, go here: http://www.homebusiness.org.uk/features.htm

HBA/BusinessesForSale joint SPECIAL OFFER: 25% discount on the website's service. Here are the details: Code: SELLABIZ-25
How to use: The user must email sellabusiness@businessesforsale.com with the subject line of “SELLABIZ-25” and their message will need to have their contact details (both an email address and phone number) for the discount to be applied. One of our account managers will then contact them and walk them through the set-up process.


31.03.2013: Trending: 'petworking'. The UK's booming pet business. http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/03/31/barking-blondes-doggy-apps-lost-pooches-and-petworking/

Britain's Top 20 Foodie Hotspots. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/propertypicturegalleries/9959167/Britains-top-20-foodie-hotspots.html As the preamble points out, a foodie hotspot can add value to your home; or to your home business. Take them very seriously.

How to pay for DIY home improvements. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/30/how-to-pay-for-diy-home-improvements/

Watchdog supports first iPhone mobile payment provider. http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/388281/Watchdog-backs-iPhone-pay-plan

30.03.2013: Why government 'mentoring' and the Department for Business are failing. http://www.cobwebinfo.com/why-mentoring-and-the-department-for-business-are-failing/

Start up market stall competition for young traders launched. http://www.nmtf.co.uk/index.php?id_cpg=151 A competition to help young traders set up a market stall has been launched by the National Market Traders' Federation (NMTF). The First Pitch scheme is open to young people aged 16 and over who are new to market trading. Applicants will be able to trade from their local market rent free for five days during May 2013, and from these, a shortlist of 100 young people will continue to trade for 12 months at a discounted rent, receiving business support and mentoring during this time. At the end of the year a winner will be chosen and will be awarded £2,000 to help kick start their business. (EnterpriseQuest)

CNET Community: growing numbers of emails being sent but not received. http://nls.cnet.com/pageservices/viewOnlineNewsletter.sc?list_id=e497&send_date=03/29/2013 Although the comments suggest the obvious - that overly aggressive spam filters are the main culprit - the problem remains that 99% of messages are spam 'n scam. And recipients know it. Add to that the huge volumes of spam 'n scam which even individuals have to deal with - let alone businesses - and the bottom line is, who cares about your messages? Who actually reads the vast bulk of the emails which arrive in their inboxes? Assuming there hasn't been a cyber attack along the way; or Microshite isn't suffering another software or security glitch; or a crap internet connection isn't flatlining again and your messages have simply got lost in space.

Add to that the idle and ignorant habit of modern plebs sending out messages identifying themselves by just a christian name and nothing else whatsoever; the high risk attached to clicking on blind links only - so no-one does it; plus recipients/businesses who are too illiterate, stupid, lazy and unprofessional to reply to their emails anyway; and all of a sudden one is inclined to ask, why is anyone bothering with emails? Scratching a message on a piece of tree bark and sending it down the road attached to the hind leg of a donkey going walkabouts would be faster and more reliable. Or, as Churchill put it, 'Never have so many dummies been fooled by so few conmen over such a long period of time'.

'Stop moaning, Amazon traders, you can always find another marketplace'. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/jim-armitage-stop-moaning-amazon-traders-you-can-always-find-another-marketplace-8554670.html Media comments on business matters are now up to several laughs a day. One could say one should find another 'read'. Trouble is, finding one in the UK with a columnist (as opposed to a self-publicising 'celebrity entrepreneur') who knows anything about running a business is nigh-on impossible and pages are filled instead with the latest lifts from Twitter and Facebook, football reports and which social non-entity went shopping today. Leading by example on how to spiv money-for-nothing.

How do I contact Amazon? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/advice/9952943/How-do-I-contact-Amazon.html 'They don't like it up 'em', don't these big companies online. Despite what the law says about addresses and contact details.

Six-fold increase in the seizure of counterfeit electrical goods. http://money-news.money.aol.co.uk/article/2013/03/29/rise_in_seized_counterfeit_goods

Jeff Babener's MLM Start-Up Conference, May 16-17, 2013, Las Vegas. http://www.mlmlegal.com/

29.03.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/29/freebie-friday-this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

Got a business idea? Then do it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/small-business-network/2013/mar/29/idea-for-business More media bullshit about starting and running a business. On the other hand, some of the posts following this article are as enlightening as they are amusing.

Amazon fee hike facing revolt from small traders. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/mar/28/amazon-fees-hike-third-party

Orange worst for broadband customer service in Britain. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2300494/Broadband-speed-Orange-tops-table-customer-service-complaints.html 'Ze French touch'. Orange join EDF as the country's worst providers for customer satisfaction. Now Brits will start to understand what the French have had to put up with for decades and why they are so glum all the time: trying to cope with the world's worst management.

UK internet users face postcode lottery over connection speeds. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300332/UK-internet-surfers-face-wildly-varying-broadband-speeds--city.html

Official release: English business statistical survey January 2013. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-business-survey-statistical-release-january-2013

Britons could save £195 million a year by buying annual travel insurance. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/11358

UK services sector grew in January. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21964070#

Rising popularity in 'glamping' in the UK over travelling abroad. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/holidays/article-2301114/Rise-popularity-caravan-camping-breaks-holidaymakers-choose-glamping-UK-travelling-abroad.html So there's a bit of good 'home business' news for you which hasn't been ruined by Theresa May and the Home Office. Yet.

Weekend Larf #1: The UK has already returned to growth, claims forecaster OECD. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9959264/UK-has-already-returned-to-growth-says-OECD.html 'Not like that. Just like that.'

Weekend Larf #2: 'I did it to save the High Street', claims Dragon's Den panellist. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300404/Dragons-Den-star-Peter-Jones-takes-5m-High-Street-gamble-relaunching-collapsed-camera-chain-Jessops.html So that's the new template for any contestants' future Dragon's Den success, is it? 'I want to be a philanthropist and save the High Street.' I thought we were talking 'business', not charity. And even then, I would be very worried indeed by the bona fides of any 'entrepreneur' pretending they were 'saving' the British High Street by re-opening just a couple of stores over the weekend and up to thirty or so in the future. At some stage. Other than as a profitable PR exercise, of course which hopefully, will go some way to salvaging the man's car crash of a reputation after his recommended closure of Britain's Business Links network and for it to be replaced by a piss-poor website because he had persuaded our dumb government that the future was the internet and nothing but the internet. So let's hope that our Dragons' Den 'star' has better luck with his officially commissioned report into the country's apprenticeship structure - destroyed over 30 years ago by Margaret Thatcher and her mediatised visionary 'stars' of the time.

UK and EU immigrant 'welfare magnet' challenged by latest research. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/28/immigrants-eu-benefits-welfare-magnet These findings don't prove anything new. Agencies, researchers, even government departments have known 'the truth' for a long time. Trouble is, that doesn't make for convenient political capital nor the stuff of daily lies sold by hate-preaching tabloid propaganda.

(Although according to the latest news, it's now the police who were responsible for the 'black propaganda' which broke wind as a result of the Hillsborough tragedy. So. It was the police, was it, who wrote the newspaper stories after interviewing everyone involved; verified them; edited them; proofed them; distributed them; sold them; and continued to do so for the next twenty years despite an official report which challenged the initial stories within twelve months of the event taking place? I see. 'Investigative reporting' is that called? In the name of 'freedom of the press'?)

Fun on a budget. 9 things to do for £9. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/29/fun-on-a-budget-nine-things-to-do-for-9/

28.03.2013: Why does Chancellor George Osborne hate self-employed women? http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/28/why-does-george-osborne-hate-self-employed-women/ The Chancellor, as do most 'modern' politicians, hate ALL self-employed people and not just women. The self-employed are the very antithesis of the sheep which politicians want for gullible voting fodder: awkward to manage; independent; sceptical; self-starters; grafters; self-made. Can't be having it. Which is why the HMRC for example, is on a permanent war footing against all self-employed, whereas 'George's or Dave's Mates' evade their taxes and their social and moral responsibilities with total impunity.

It could be worse, though. You could try being self-employed in France if you like your kick in the teeth on a daily basis.

Sir Richard Branson looking for Britain's best start-up. http://www.enforbusiness.com/news/sir-richard-branson-looking-britain%E2%80%99s-best-start-20139647

SMEs risking livelihoods with fraudulent insurance claims. http://www.enforbusiness.com/news/smes-%E2%80%9Crisking-livelihoods%E2%80%9D-fraudulent-insurance-claims-20139639

Government suppliers to benefit from simpler tender process. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-single-registration-system-
will-make-it-easier-for-suppliers-to-bid-for-government-business
A new, simplified, supplier registration system will make it cheaper and easier for smaller firms to compete for Government contracts. The Single Supplier Registration platform launched by Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude only requires suppliers to register once, and complete a single Pre-Qualification Questionnaire on a centralised system, in order to view, access and tender for a range of Government contracts. Currently, suppliers have to register separately on several systems. The new platform will be available for the health sector from April 2013 and for other sectors later this year. (EnterpriseQuest)

Can banks take your savings? http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/27/can-banks-take-your-savings/ What's in a definition? Whether UK savers think their money is safe or not, when it comes to bailing out the banks everyone has to and will pay. All taxpayers. And the cost per household is infinitely greater than the recent Cypriot bank grab. As UK pensioners with UK savings already know to their cost.

Official release: Allocation of EU structural funding across the UK. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/allocation-of-eu-structural-funding-across-the-uk

What do farmers and executives have in common? Crippling debt. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/27/what-do-farmers-and-executives-have-in-common-crippling-debt/

Online traders click on the High Street. http://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/387191/Online-traders-click-on-the-high-street This should be a natural progression; from trading online to trading in town although both are mutually compatible. Unfortunately, there are two, major obstacles. Governments and local councils.

Rural postboxes saved from threat of the axe. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300284/Rural-postboxes-rescued-threat-axe.html

Metro Cash & Carry Romania, wins award for its sustainable business franchise models and support of self-employed, local producers. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/11338 Our own supermarkets will not be taking note, I'm sure.

Internet speeds slowed down worldwide by cyber-attacks. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/biggest-cyberattack-in-history-slows-down-internet-worldwide-after-quarrel-between-webhosting-company-and-antispam-group-8551815.html Silly me. There I was thinking it was just the normal state of affairs.

French port strike threatening Easter getaway. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/9957337/French-port-strike-threatens-Easter-getaway.html Another normal state of affairs. More overpaid and idle French fonctionnaires get off the mark with their annual, holiday extension programme, pushing the country still further into bankruptcy - and confirming to the whole world that investment in the laziest country in the world is an absolute no-brainer. Sadly for the few French folk who are among the hardest-working people I have met in my life.

Flipboard allows users to create own magazines. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9956671/Flipboard-2.0-lets-users-create-their-own-magazines.html

27.03.2013: Online dispute resolution system introduced for traders. http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2013/march/new-eu-online-and-alternative-dispute-resolution-rules-to-be-introduced-/ Online traders will find it easier to resolve disputes with consumers based in other EU countries, after a new Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) Regulation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive were approved by the European Parliament. The regulations will lead to the creation of a new online platform that enables traders to resolve contract disputes regarding online transactions out of court. Consumers will submit complaints on the platform, which the trader is then notified about. The consumer and trader will then agree on which ADR entity - such as a mediator, ombudsman or complaints board - to use to resolve their dispute. (EnterpriseQuest)

Official release: Building trade given £30m boost to get projects off the ground. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/building-trade-given-30m-boost-to-get-projects-off-the-ground

Official release: Information for businesses trading with or in Cyprus. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/information-for-businesses-trading-with-or-in-cyprus

Resurgence of entrepreneurial activity in UK and Ireland. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/11283

£286 green tax on energy bills by 2020. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299652/286-green-tax-energy-bills-But-ministers-insist-efficient-appliances-SAVE-money.html All designed to save us money.

Electric cars could overload grid, warns French energy chief. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299396/Rise-electric-car-ownership-leave-France-facing-power-cuts-drivers-recharge-batteries-dinnertime.html Switching on your electric oven to cook Sunday lunch will overload the French national grid. A wind blowing at 30kph will bring down the electricity supply to 30,000 homes. That's why French energy (EDF) are so big in England County. Milking Britplebs for the capital they need to bring their own country's energy infrastructure into the 21st century.

Couple ordered to pull down eco home. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299297/Inside-Hobbit-house-straw-wood-facing-demolition-built-planning-permission.html Judging by the pics, it looks as if these people didn't have the wherewithal for a suitably placed cash suppository.

New Internationalist ethical Spring garden sale. http://shop.newint.org/uk/home-accessories/in-the-garden.html

Hic 'n clic online shopping, under the influence of. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299683/Hic-click-shopping-How-buy-online-wine.html

Digital Britain: a risk worth taking. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/9954379/Digital-Britain-a-risk-worth-taking.html How about an 'educated' Britain, first?

Save money on your postage. http://www.savemoneyonpostage.co.uk/intdatf/index.php

Croatia gets green light to become 28th country in the EU. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299368/Croatia-given-green-light-join-EU--despite-warnings-corruption-organised-crime.html Another chunk of bullshit for the tabloids and the politicians to get their teeth into: 'more waves of organised crime' to cope with. Add another '20 million immigrants' to the roll-call. Perfect timing for the UK Border Agency to be broken up, years after it first started showing signs of operational strain from being used as a political football.

Once upon a time, the government minister responsible for this debacle would have resigned. Today, it's become fashionable for politicians to stick like shit to a blanket and blame their civil servants. Then, go into training for several months for an appearance in 'I'm A Celebrity Monkey'. Plus one other, increasingly commonplace solution. Sell off the operation to an American arms manufacturer. Splitting the UK Border Agency in two will help that process. And make no difference whatsoever to immigration problems. Because the root cause of the problem is, always has been and will always remain - the politicians.

Consequently, although the minister responsible in this case also has 'form' for incompetence in the issue of tourist visas to cash-spending holidaymakers as well as a courtroom translator/interpreter debacle, the country's media seems to find her eminently suitable for a future role as Prime Minister.

University of Essex, Business and Management Training Centre, April/May courses. http://www.essex.ac.uk/ebs/html_emails/html_e-mail_Spring.html

Taxman hits stay-at-home mothers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9956005/Taxman-hits-stay-at-home-mothers.html

26.03.2013: Small firms say politicians do not understand their needs. http://www.freelancingmatters.co.uk/topics/smes-not-impressed-politics Over 40% of small business owners employing fewer than five staff believe no UK political party really understands their needs, according to a survey by YouGov on behalf of accounting provider FreeAgent. However, the poll revealed 25% of small business owners think the Conservative party is most supportive of small firms. UKIP and Labour were each rated as most supportive by 9% of respondents, and just 3% saw Liberal Democrats this way. Ed Molyneux, Chief Executive Officer of FreeAgent, said the small business sector is vital to the UK's overall economy and all political parties should commit to nurturing businesses and providing them with support to help them grow. (EnterpriseQuest)

The 60% of businesses which did not correspond to these findings consisted of bankers, property developers and American arms manufacturers. Such as the UK helicopter search-and-rescue contract having just been awarded to a US company. Or what's known as England County's 'special relationship' with the US. It'll be the police next. While the tabloids continue to lay down plenty of smoke and blame the EU.

'Turn your home office into a coffee shop'. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/turn-your-home-office-into-a-coffee-shop-kind-of-with-website-that-produces-that-starbucks-ambience-8548952.html

Trending: wool spinning back into fashion. http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/fashion-beauty/386791/Why-wool-is-spinning-back-into-fashion

Bedroom tax will hit poorest hardest. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/housing-benefit-bill-mps-warn-that-bedroom-tax-will-hit-poorest-8549132.html That's the general idea, isn't it? To take any pressure off politicians' main sources of bungs. And to bolster the argument that more social housing is needed. At £150 k min. per jerry-built rabbit hutch, going into negative equity and generating crippling, lifelong debt upon purchase.

Further £200 shock rise in fuel bills. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/gas-crisis-consumers-face-shock-200-rise-in-bills-as-cold-weather-and-snow-lead-to-low-fuel-reserves-8549048.html

French bottled water contains pesticides or drugs. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/25/french-bottled-waters-contaminated-brands No surprises again. I remember seeing a French documentary a few years ago, claiming that over 90% of the country's tap water was contaminated, usually with excessive quantities of nitrates. Still, Britain is chasing hard to catch up and even has a Big Corp Minister for the Pollution and Destruction of Nature.

Influx of wealthy French into London causing homes shortage. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2299152/Housing-woe-1m-Bank-England-chiefs-wife-blames-influx-wealthy-french-London-struggle-home-despite-5-000-week-allowance.html You've got to smile; it's normally the French who blame British buyers for causing housing shortages in France. Well, apart from segregation shitholes around the main cities.

France has lost 1 million jobs because of oppressive tax regime. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298936/France-lost-million-jobs-repressive-tax-regime-report-claims.html As with any tabloid reporting, this story should be taken with a big bag of salt. The primary cause of job losses and small business failure in France are the country's trade union barons, their Brownshirt goons and their puppet ministers. Simple as. The French tax regime has been 'oppressive' for generations and I'm surprised to read there were more than 6, let alone '60,000' wealthy French businessmen who moved out of the country just because of the latest government. However, evil, nasty and divisive it might be.

Facebook users risking identity theft, says celebrity conman. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2013/mar/20/facebook-risks-identity-theft-frank-abagnale?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487 I'm not sure why it needs the views of an American conman to state the obvious. We've got plenty of celebrity conmen ourselves. Perhaps they're just a bit busy at the moment, though. Working for the Government as advisers and gurus.

Tests confirm public fears on 'dirty' money. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/26/tests-confirm-dirty-money-fears/ Yet another looming pretext to get rid of cash altogether.

25.03.2013: Self-employed are facing disaster. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/25/self-employed-are-facing-disaster/ At long last. An article from the mainstream media which tries to say it as it is.

Government urged to do more to save the High Street. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/9951201/Government-urged-to-do-more-to-save-the-high-street.html

Ponzi fraudster ordered to pay just £1. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/25/ponzi-fraudster-ordered-to-pay-1/

Mobile spending will double. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/9949610/Mobile-spending-to-double.html

New guidance on protecting data on personal devices. http://www.ico.gov.uk/news/latest_news/2013/survey-guidance-on-byod-personal-devices-07032013.aspx New guidance explaining how employers can ensure staff protect business data and information and comply with the Data Protection Act when using their personal devices, has been published by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). The guidance provides key recommendations, including using encryption to store data securely and installing a facility that remotely wipes the device if it is lost. The guidance follows research by YouGov, which revealed almost half of adults use personal devices for work purposes, but fewer than three in ten receive relevant guidance from their employer. The most common work-related activities carried out by staff on their personal devices that were most likely to be covered by the Data Protection Act included sending e-mail, editing and storing documents. (EnterpriseQuest)

Laura Ashley accused over squeezing suppliers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21916657#

Britain's ten most affordable cities. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/houseprices/9949217/Britains-10-most-affordable-cities.html

24.03.2013: Official release: Small Business Survey 2012: Businesses With No Employees. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/small-business-survey-2012-businesses-with-no-employees

Internet poker endangering families. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/rise-of-44-per-cent-in-women-hooked-on-online-betting-8547070.html Our own stats suggest that online gambling is a far worse problem than payday loans. The problem is that with the Government's snout in the trough and the press and the tv awash with ads, matters are only going to get worse.

Brits urged to withdraw their cash from European banks. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/386559/Get-all-your-money-out-of-Europe-now Now there's a rarity. An expat Brit with spare cash in a European bank account. For those who do have some dosh to spare, it is hoped they will now move their money back into Britain's bankrupt, taxpayer-supported financial institutions just ahead of another credit downgrade, falling output and growth and a rise in political instability.

Boost for new banks. http://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/386586/Boost-for-new-banks

Britain's tax chief facing sack for 'misleading MPs'. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2298171/Britains-tax-chief-faces-sack-shes-slammed-report-performance.html Our hapless civil servant forgot that when it comes to 'misleading', that's the job of MPs and MPs only. As is craven 'passing of the buck'.

The French are taught to be gloomy by their own culture. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/mar/24/french-taught-to-be-gloomy Firstly, invaded by the Romans, Vikings and Arabs; then, by the English during the 100 Years War; more recently by the Germans. Even more recently, by idle 'guppy vin rouge' Brits again, looking for cheap homes. It's enough to give anyone 'the blues'.

23.03.2013: Shakespeare's home town top at ecommerce. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/22/shakespeare-town-top-at-ecommerce/ And after all that trouble BT have gone to to give London the fastest broadband connectivity in the universe.

Small firms not optimising mobile websites. http://www.mobile-ent.biz/news/read/just-eight-per-cent-of-smes-have-a-mobile-website/020823 Just 8% of small firms have a website optimised for access via mobile devices, despite almost half encouraging customers to use their mobile website, according to research by Pitney Bowes.

The research revealed print as the preferred advertising method for small firms, while top online methods included e-mail and Facebook marketing. The research also found just 10% of small enterprises planned to invest in a mobile website in the coming year, while 7% plan to offer mobile payments. Ryan Higginson of Pitney Bowes said: "Mobile can no longer be considered new and businesses, regardless of size, cannot afford to ignore it." (EnterpriseQuest)

Another rating agency poised to downgrade the UK. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21900304# At this rate, even the 'millions of Moldavian grannies' on their way to enter the UK by the 'back door' will turn around and go back home. So you see . . . every cloud has a silver lining.

Late-paying big companies will be exposed, claim Britain's W.C. (War Criminal) Party, 'Bent' Labour. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/9949328/Bad-payers-may-face-public-work-bar.html A promise we've heard as often as the stories about Iraq's, Iran's, Libya's and Syria's weapons of mass destruction.

Britain faces gas rationing for first time. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/britain-faces-the-prospect-of-gas-rationing-for-the-first-time-8544975.html

Doping in professional football: Real Madrid dragged into the Fuentes mire. http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2013/mar/22/blood-doping-trial-fuentes-real-madrid Common knowledge for a long time; other than for subscribers to the discredited, criminal British media, naturally, desperate to keep the lid on their own can of shit. To which end, executive roles in the sport's governing bodies filled by ex-propaganda ('news') chiefs, will do very nicely.

China to overtake the USA by 2016. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/9947825/China-to-overtake-America-by-2016.html Public school and Oxbridge syllabubs are hastily being re-written to groom Britain's inbred ruling classes in Fagging For China (Hons).

Salads more dangerous than beefburgers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/foodanddrinknews/9948987/Salad-is-more-dangerous-than-beefburgers-leading-food-expert-warns.html With power cuts on the way, best of luck with your cold beefburgers!

22.03.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/22/freebie-friday-this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

Non-traditional business lenders get £30 million boost. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21894398#

Official press release. £9.5 million of new funding for Citizens Advice Service to champion consumer work. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/9-5-million-of-new-funding-for-citizens-advice-service-to-champion-consumer-work

Post Office workers set to strike over Easter. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21893044# Much as I sympathise with the reasons for this strike, is Easter really the best time for it to take place? The people it will hurt the most are those who put the most work their way: small businesses and the self employed; old folk; tourists and holidaymakers. There are far more judicious ways of making a point than this. Or are English trade unionists affiliated to French social terrorist groups like the CGT these days? Who use strikes during holiday periods as a pretext for extra days paid leave.

Retail sales bounce back in February. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-21874337#

Disposable income continues to rise. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/11178

Vince Cable outlines plans for a Business Bank. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/yourbusiness/9946942/Vince-Cable-outlines-plans-for-Business-Bank.html What, another 'plan'?!

Energy boss warns of blackout risk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21878059#

Growing electricity. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/analysis-and-features/return-to-the-trees-growing-electricity-8543153.html Another reminder of why the planet - and the UK especially - is fcuked. Importing millions of tons of wood from other continents to fuel (inefficiently) huge power stations while Britain's coal mines are forced to close down. Although it could be worse. Crops which could end world starvation almost overnight, used to fuel cars for unemployed plebs and their dummyphones to drive around in mindless circles and for half-mile shopping trips to their nearest supermarket. It all makes traditional criminal activity look quite acceptable by comparison.

Homes to be hit with electricity 'stealth tax'. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/386066/Families-to-be-hit-with-34-electricity-stealth-tax

Timeshare re-sale scams. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/21/the-fixer-timeshare-resale-scams/

Can you get rich by inventing an app? http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/03/21/can-you-get-rich-by-inventing-a-smash-hit-shopping-app/ How about becoming a plumber, instead?

Paywall UK: large bonds to be required of immigrants from 'high-risk' countries. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/paywall-uk-tough-new-regime-on-visas-8544873.html Obviously, this won't apply to any continuing influx from the EU which is behind the public's main perception of current immigration problems; whereas it will encourage on the other hand, more and more dangerous, underground illegal immigration and human trafficking. Nor will it change one iota the Home Office's capacity to deal with immigrants who overstay their welcome, if staff numbers continue to be slashed in a pretence to balance the Government's books. In other words, just another impress-a-pleb PR stunt.

Bureaucrats make lousy businessmen. http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/frederick-forsyth/386073/Bureaucrats-make-lousy-businessmen 'Bureaucrats' isn't the term normally used for local councils. One could start with 'wasters' and just take it from there . . .

The International & European Associations Congress 2013, 21-23 April, Estoril, Lisbon, Portugal. http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=1ec0948bb8a32e26fd201c2a9&id=e1d0a60ef3&e=cf9ae972da

21.03.2013: Official release: Budget 2013 news stories. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/budget-2013--2

Budget assessment from our partners, business accountants AIMS.

Quit the day job and start your own business. http://www.guardian.co.uk/small-business-network/2013/mar/21/starting-a-new-business Making sky pies, perhaps? Articles like this (well, not even that, actually) should carry a Serious Financial Risk Warning. Since the internet came along, every monkey hanging off a Money Tree knows how to successfully start a business. A pity there never seem to be any sustained, measurable results, though.

'Greasy spoon' outshines Michelin restaurants. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/news/no-reservations-no-celebrity-chefs-greasy-spoon-outshines-michelinstarred-restaurants-8543033.html What do I keep saying?

Hi-jacked PCs defrauding advertisers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet-security/9942102/Hijacked-PCs-defrauding-advertisers.html

How to make cheap mobile calls home from abroad. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/21/how-to-make-cheap-mobile-phone-calls-home-from-abroad/

DIY tips everyone should know. http://www.express.co.uk/news/property/385746/DIY-tips-everyone-should-know So where are all the 21st century's 'liberated' women-with-balls when you need them? The 'lads' obviously being too busy with their six-pack development and supporting the country's national sport of doped-up professional cheating.

There used to be a time when such a list would have been totally superfluous because everyone, even school-winkles, knew basics like this. Then again, that was before the Age of the Dummyphone and Facebook's Fake Friends.

Anti-European attitudes turning pupils off foreign languages. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9943592/Anti-European-attitudes-turning-pupils-off-languages.html Well, for the time being the UK's exporting ambitions are being driven by a series of bombing, murdering, thieving and fagging campaigns so being able to speak 'furren' is not a government nor hate-preaching media priority. Very limiting admittedly, but we can't be having plebs from the business community getting ideas above their education and making money from peaceful trading, can we now? No more so than pupils and students being able to read stories from elsewhere around the world which aren't criminal, Fascist tabloid lies and propaganda being mis-sold as 'news'.

20.03.2013: Budget 2013

Welcome to this budget edition of BAD News (Business Advisers' News), with a summary of the most relevant and important measures announced by the Chancellor in his 2013 Budget. Key points affecting small and medium-sized businesses include:

Taxation

The main rate of corporation tax will be reduced to 20% from April 2015.

The VAT registration threshold will be increased to £79,000 from April 2013 and the deregistration threshold increased to £77,000.

The income tax personal allowance will be increased to £10,000 from April 2014.

The Government is to consult on plans to simplify and reduce administration for self-employed people, by using Self Assessment to collect Class 2 National Insurance Contributions (NICs) alongside income tax and Class 4 NICs.

From April 2014, all businesses will be eligible for an Employment Allowance of £2,000 to offset against their NICs.

The Government will extend capital gains tax relief to encourage investors to take up the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). Investors making capital gains in tax year 2013-14 will receive 50% capital gains tax relief when they reinvest those gains into seed companies during tax year 2013-14 and 2014-15.

A consultation will take place in Summer 2013 on plans to introduce tax relief to encourage private investment in social enterprise.

Growth and support

£1.6 billion of funding will be provided to support the life sciences and aerospace sectors, and will be allocated by the end of 2013.

Several strategies for supporting the creative industries has been announced, including a competition of £15 million launched by the Technology Strategy Board for digital content production by specialist small businesses, educational research facilities and training providers; increasing funding for the Skills Investment Fund to £8 million each year for the next two years; and launching a public consultation on plans to provide support to the visual effects industry.

The Government will launch a £30 million Growth Vouchers programme for small and medium-sized enterprises in England, to help them overcome barriers to growth, such as limited access to external advice.

The Government has accepted the majority of the recommendations made in the Heseltine Review on economic growth, for example creating a Single Local Growth Fund allocated to Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) to support local economic growth. The Single Local Growth Fund will be operational from April 2015.

The new Business Bank will introduce a £300 million investment scheme to help diversify sources of funding for small and medium-sized businesses; provide £75 million of funding for venture capital; and increase funding of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme to encourage lenders to provide finance to small firms.

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) will increase the value of government contracts available to smaller firms from £40 million to over £100 million in 2013-14, and rising to over £200 million in 2014-15.

If you would like to comment on any of these or other points in the Chancellor's Budget you can have your say by clicking here: http://www.cobwebinfo.com/budget-special-2013/#comments

The full Budget report and associated notices are available from HM Treasury at: http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/budget2013.htm

The Budget for Business. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/20/budget-2013-did-george-osborne-deliver-for-business/

Costs of starting a business are lower than ever. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/11157

Improving mobile payment security is essential. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/11134

Which are the most annoying hidden charges? http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/03/19/small-print-which-are-the-most-annoying-hidden-charges/

Watchdog demands action on spam PPI texts. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/9940627/Watchdog-demands-action-on-spam-PPI-texts.html

Fitted kitchen company fined £90,000 for cold-calling. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-21855594#

'Best Village Shop In Britain' winner: a 'home from home'. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/9937819/Welcome-to-the-Best-Village-Shop-in-Britain.html

How to make sure your small business is using the right technology. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/pc-world-business/9899727/pc-world-business-partnerships.html?WT.mc_id=605554&source=TrafficDriver

Shoppers turning to more and more discount vouchers in hunt for bargains. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/385448/Shoppers-turning-more-to-discount-vouchers-as-they-hunt-for-bargains

British trust in politicians and establishments at an all-time low. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2296085/Britain-suffering-huge-loss-faith-institutions-Trust-politicians-slumped-time-low-say-researchers.html So you can imagine in just how low an esteem the rest of the world holds the UK. A world which we need to do business with every day if there is to be any future for our children. Yet STILL the media - which is every bit as rotten as the country's political system - continues to sanitise the murdering track record of Butcher Blair and his Brownshirts with apologist articles and TV appearances from members even of the present government. A government whose own killer credentials now include Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Little wonder that every wannabe world ruler from Boris Johnson to bent local councillors trot around in a parody of democracy, supporting everything that is rotten because that is the midden they come from.

Get in the shit-shovellers, load up this human excrement and ship it out to Iraq. At the very least that will save taxpayers the astronomical cost of multiple trials while sending out a message to the world that Britain Means Business. Leaving 'justice' to be written by the families of the 5 million Iraquis sacrificed as 'collateral damage' since the First Gulf War - rather than anything written by Murderoch International Propaganda Services.

19.03.2013: Small firms unaware of available export support. http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/small-medium-enterprises-committee/news/house-of-lords-committee-welcome-
benefits-of-increased-exporting-by-smes-but-says-government-must-do-more-to-ensure-smes-know-where-to-find-export-help/
Small and medium-sized firms lack awareness of available export support from organisations such as UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and UK Export Finance (UKEF), according to a report published by the House of Lords Select Committee on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. The report revealed only 21 firms received help from UKEF between March 2011 and August 2012, and stated that more needed to be done to promote export support through business support organisations, banks, accountants and Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs). Chairman of the Committee Lord Cope said "help is there but not enough small and medium-sized enterprises know where to find it." (EnterpriseQuest)

You can have all the 'official' export support you like but when the overseas markets' perception of an exporting country is that it's foreign policy is inextricably linked to perpetual crimes against humanity endorsed by a Fascist hate-preaching media, then there are a huge number of pre-conceived hurdles to overcome first. As the best salesman I ever met always used to say: 'Successful exporting is about successfully making friends.' Which doesn't just mean knob-polishing for the US arms industry. Even if our Foreign Minister is called 'Willy'.

Law Commission urges tougher action on hidden charges. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21838384# and Hidden Charges Firms Facing Court. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/19/firms-face-court-over-hidden-charge/ I wonder if Dragons' Den applicants are assessed by the panel on the transparency and legality of their trading terms? Still, as any super-successful celebrity entrepreneur will confirm: you don't make it to the top of the British business pile by being honest.

Which? calls for clampdown on nuisance calls and text. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21835169#

10 best money saving websites. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-10-best-moneysaving-websites-8539725.html?action=gallery

Stop parking tickets for motorists 'just popping into shops'. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/news/9936080/Eric-Pickles-Wardens-should-stop-giving-motorists-popping-into-shops-parking-tickets.html

Do you have a £1000 of clutter in your home? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2295537/Do-1-000-clutter-home-Study-finds-average-household-sitting-unused-items-worth-small-fortune.html A much better source of cash for a home business start-up than a government loan.

Larf Of The Century. 'UK savers are well protected.' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21827739# A very 'British' comment prompted by the totally moronic decision by the Cyprus government and the EU to overtly thieve peoples' savings. Quite a normal state of affairs, admittedly, but these practices are traditionally much more discreet.

In the UK on the other hand, EVERYONE (except tax-evading 'Dave's Mates') contributes to the thieving, incompetent government-backed Satanic criminal banking culture. To the tune of at least and so far - £1.62 TRILLION pounds. Total EU bailout for Cyprus on the other hand - £10 billion. For the time being. Give or take. But any which way, a drop in the ocean by comparison to the UK.

(For politicians, economists and dummyphone-gazing plebs without a GCSE in Summs, a definition of 'trillion' can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trillion Lots of noughts, though; although plumbers and plasterers will have no problems with such stratospheric figures.)

18.03.2013: HMRC call-handling 'woefully inadequate' claim MPs. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21805850# Nothing like as woefully inadequate as the continuing absence of new laws to enable HMRC to bring in more tax revenue from Big Corp, though. Which 'woefully inadequate' MPs and governments have been talking about for decades.

Royal Mail's lost post compensation payments to be slashed by half. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/384833/Royal-Mail-s-lost-post-payouts-to-be-halved

Household Finance Index shows some improvement. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/11100

Top 50 Foodie Guide. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/interactive/2013/mar/17/ofm-50-insiders-guide-to-food-interactive

Women don't succeed in business because they put family first, says Dragons' Den panellist. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2295036/Women-dont-succeed-business-family-says-Dragons-Den-star-Hilary-Devey.html And good for them. Business success can come and go and even in the hands of the most skillful businessfolk, fail for reasons outside their control. A family on the other hand, is not just for life but for generations and will always be there for you even when your business has gone down the tubes. We say it over and over again. Your business is there to serve you, your home, your family. Not vice versa.

One shouldn't forget either, that previous polls have shown that the business community-at-large takes no notice of media-elected business 'gurus' (no more so than media-nominated 'micro-celebrities') who may have a worth of tens of £ millions. These are the 'freaks' or the 'Elephant Men' of the business world, looking to profit further from punters who need a bit of cash. The ones-in-a-million who have made it to the very top - where space is infinitesimally limited - but where personal fulfillment, health or happiness are certainly not included.

However, if you are fortunate enough to have a good family around you, they will help find your capital for you and to arrive at your first annual turnover of £50k will already be a major life-changer; and it is much more likely to stay that way - because you won't have some grubbing leech to pay back out of your profits.

Austerity on the menu: explosion in food banks. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/austerity-on-the-menu-food-bank-needs-1m-to-meet-increased-demand-caused-by-iain-duncansmiths-welfare-reforms-8538113.html Call me old-fashioned but when I see people turning up at food banks in cars, sometimes very nice cars indeed, and then walking around filling their baskets with a new smartphone in their hand and I do wonder . . .

I also wonder just how many food bank visitors have tried - and failed - to run a business or just an 'earner' from home.

Budget 2013: what the UK economy needs . . . http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21770752

Business groups call for increased spending on infrastructure. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21826818#

Only 20,000 Romanians want to work in the UK, claims independent report. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/9928263/Only-20000-Romanians-want-to-work-in-Britain-says-study-by-Romania.html Ah, well. Yet another damp fart for the UK's fascist, hate-preaching tabloid propaganda. Unsurprising, though. It does confirm what everyone has known for some time and various reports and studies have repeatedly confirmed. There ain't enough work to be had.

(Although I have seen a report today that over '300,000 Romanian grannies are marching towards the UK to enter the country by the back door.')

17.03.2013: UK farmers facing a 'perfect storm'. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/16/uk-farmers-face-disaster

Britons stop spending. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/384890/136billion-hole-in-economy-as-Britons-stop-spending Then, as long as you don't put your savings into a thieving bank account, the future seems to be looking up.

Why are home-owners selling up to rent? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/rentingproperty/9924490/Why-are-home-owners-selling-up-to-rent.html

'We need tax breaks,' say stay-at-home mums. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/tax/9932760/We-need-tax-breaks-say-stay-at-home-mums.html It would seem the 'home business revolution' isn't bringing in much money, then.

SME business event: technology in the workplace. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sponsored/business/pc-world-business/9912680/small-business-event.html?WT.mc_id=605554&source=TrafficDriver

Brief Guide to Scanning and Open Day Demonstration reservation form. http://www.merlindoc.co.uk/ContactBGS+Demo.html

Motivational business success story. Helena Rubinstein, from penniless Polish refugee to cosmetics empress. http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/fashion-beauty/384696/Helena-Rubinstein-the-penniless-refugee-who-built-a-cosmetics-empire And amazingly, all done without a dummyphone or the internet, nor Twatter, nor Arsebook nor an official Instant Mentor or a start-up loan.

16.03.2013: Start up market stall competition for young traders launched. http://www.nmtf.co.uk/index.php?id_cpg=151
A competition to help young traders set up a market stall has been launched by the National Market Traders' Federation (NMTF). The First Pitch scheme is open to young people aged 16 and over who are new to market trading. Applicants will be able to trade from their local market rent free for five days during May 2013, and from these, a shortlist of 100 young people will continue to trade for 12 months at a discounted rent, receiving business support and mentoring during this time. At the end of the year a winner will be chosen and will be awarded £2,000 to help kick start their business. (EnterpriseQuest)

EU Late Payments Directive comes into force. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/
138129/bis-13-705-a-users-guide-to-the-recast-late-payment-directive.pdf
The revised EU Late Payments Directive, comes into force on the 16 March, and has been introduced to increase prompt payments to smaller firms. Public sector organisations must pay for goods and services within 30 calendar days of receipt of invoice, and private sector firms must pay within 60 calendar days. It is also a requirement for debtors to pay interest and a fixed penalty for recovery costs on late payments. The European Commission (EC) has claimed that the new rules will encourage a culture of prompt payments by larger firms and the public sector, and could release an additional £150 billion to businesses throughout Europe.
(EnterpriseQuest)

Dangerous financial products named. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21760855#

Best places to live in the UK. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/15/where-is-the-best-place-to-live-in-the-uk-and-why/

15.03.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/15/this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

Small business owners fail to claim back expenses. http://yougov.co.uk/news/2013/03/05/expenses-small-business-owners/ Just one in four business owners claim back all of their personal business expenses, according to a survey by YouGov on behalf of accounting software firm FreeAgent.

The top reasons business owners gave for not claiming back expenses included fears about being challenged by HMRC, forgetting or losing receipts and the amount of admin required. The research also found that three quarters of small business owners and freelancers were concerned about their taxes, with some saying they felt anxious about the current tax system. Ed Molyneux of FreeAgent said: "It's clear that expenses and tax are big issues for people who run small businesses." (EnterpriseQuest)

Official release: Start-Up Loans exceed expectations as 2,000 young entrepreneurs get their business dreams backed. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/start-up-loans-exceed-expectations-as-2-000-young-entrepreneurs-get-their-business-dreams-backed Every which way one turns there are salutory and warning stories about small business borrowing; even yesterday (just below) we read that micro-businesses are turning to payday loans just to keep afloat. And that, frequently, is experienced and established small business owners. So what chance do our naive '2,000 young entrepreneurs' have? (Good profit fodder for Dave's Mates, though.)

Growing numbers of Wonga-related fraud victims. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/14/the-number-of-victims-of-wonga-related-fraud-continues-to-grow/ Still a long way to go to catch up with the banks, then?

HMRC to close all its 281 Enquiry Centres. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21789759# Plus, an HMRC explanation for the closures and alternative proposed service, here: http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/15/trial-leads-to-tax-office-closures/

The move is designed to save a mere £13 million a year. Savings which could be massively exceeded if the HMRC's senior management was replaced by civil servants who worked in the public interest and not purely for the interests of Big Corp tax evaders.

The latest Big Brother development, as well. Business Links shut down and replaced by a piss-poor website; more and more Post Offices closed down; benefits to be claimed online only; spare bedrooms under economic threat; now this. A constant, sustained attack on the very fabric of British society where despite all the propaganda claiming that savings are the motive, the reality is much more sinister. No wonder the Government has scuppered proposals for the regulation of the criminal British media. It's lying services are much needed at the moment.

PM's war on 'red tape'. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/384380/PM-s-war-on-red-tape-that-ties-British-firms-in-knots Still more propaganda from one of the Government's favourite tabloids.

According to Wikipedia, the term 'red tape' was first noted way back in the 16th century; one would have thought that even by the sub-standards of successive British governments, at least some movement on the problem would have been made by now.

In effect, the only 'wars' the British are fighting these days is in a Coalition of Evil murdering defenceless civilians and plundering their pockets, arming insurgents and terrorist groups. Very profitable for Dave's Mates, though - even if it has a 'surprisingly' adverse effect on other British manufacturing and exports in general; despite the diving value of the £.

10 Best British Cheeses. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/the-10-best-british-cheeses-8535279.html Now all we need is for TV's armies of pretentious 'celebrity' chefs and food critics to fly the flag.

Institute of Directors (IoD) tells it as it is. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/ben-chu-the-institute-of-directors-turns-antibusiness-8535537.html Well late, though.

Britain's growing army of working over-65s keeps the economy going. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/elderhealth/9930849/Dont-attack-Britains-oldies-they-keep-the-economy-going.html

European courts rule against Spanish eviction laws. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21789650#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa This has been far too long a-coming for a country where corruption and the housing market are synonymous. Too late for a lot of ex-pat Brits especially, who having barely recovered from the time-share stings of twenty and thirty years ago only went on to find themselves screwed by regional governments as well.

14.03.2013: Investigations increase into IR35 avoidance. http://www.freelanceuk.com/news/4247.shtml The number of investigations into freelance contractors avoiding IR35 rules is set to increase, according to HMRC. The three IR35 investigation teams, based in Edinburgh, Croydon and Manchester, were described by HMRC as having made "good progress" since their formation in May 2012. HMRC has also revealed all IR35 guidance is currently under review, following criticism from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), which believes the IR35 rules lack clarity and guidance is currently difficult to access and understand. (EnterpriseQuest)

Micro-businesses resorting to payday loans. http://www.enforbusiness.com/news/micro-businesses-%E2%80%9Cresorting-payday-loans%E2%80%9D-20139613

Banks stifling next generation of business owners. http://www.enforbusiness.com/news/banks-stifling-next-generation-business-owners-20139604

British tradesmen are downing tools. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/384043/Why-our-tradesmen-are-downing-tools There's plenty of work abroad and once upon a time, a construction worker would have gone where the work was. That was once upon a time. Nowadays, it's easier to run the cars, big telly, dummyphone and nights out with the lads off benefits than going to work. Which is why the East Europeans are in such high demand. From all around the world; by British bosses included.

The following article from the same tabloid, sums it up in one word. Work.

Can I turn my boy into a businessman? http://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/384070/Can-I-turn-my-boy-into-a-budding-businessman

Employers to design apprenticeships. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/14/employers-to-design-apprenticeships/ To meet skills shortages, would you believe. Other than those already addressed by Britain's Got Talent. If the country keeps going at this rate we'll be returning to the good 'ole fashioned apprenticeships of the pre-Thatcherite years; and our tradesmen will be able to compete with the East Europeans again - IF schools can get around to teaching a few other basic skills, as well. Might finally get some decent business start-up fodder, too.

High Street Innovation Fund barely touched. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21775773# Mind you, if it had been a fund for junketing with property developers, the councils would have got through it in less than a week.

Fight to produce traditional English foodstuffs and techniques. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2013/mar/13/fight-to-preserve-traditional-english-food The media has a much more significant role to play here than it currently occupies. A few lessons taken from the French on how to support local, artisan produce and skills wouldn't go amiss.

Faulty goods costing the public £1 billion a year. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/384069/Faulty-goods-are-costing-shoppers-1bn-a-year

Posties threaten to boycott all items handled by third party firms. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2293010/Posties-vote-boycott-half-letters-Items-handled-party-firms-delivered.html Brilliant logic. Put out of business those who could possibly provide jobs in the future. French trade unionism (social terrorism) at work in the UK, perhaps?

Google keyword advertising is a waste of money, claim eBay. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/mar/13/google-keyword-advertising-wastes-money-ebay

Microsoft's employee Guide To Living and Working in Cambridge. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2292687/Microsoft-The-extraordinary-instructions-44-page-guide-British-life-giant-U-S-employees.html (That's Cambridge, England County in Europshire, not Massachusetts.)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2292687/Microsoft-The-extraordinary-instructions-44-page-guide-British-life-giant-U-S-employees.html

13.03.2013: RBS and NatWest launch mobile Visa transfers. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/mar/13/rbs-natwest-visa-based-mobile-transfers

Credit card scams increasing again. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/13/crude-card-scams-increasing-again/

No frills savings and insurance products are ready. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21768027#

Making money from lost and stolen property auctions. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/13/police-and-lost-luggage-auctions-make-money-from-suitcases-and/

Public deceived on Big Corp tax avoidance. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/13/public-deceived-on-tax-avoidance/ Well, there isn't a lot which the public isn't deceived about by the media; especially on matters concerning their own tax evasion, massively lucrative government propaganda requirements and covering up for cheating, money-laundering operations like professional football. Then, just as with any banana republic, it's the small business community and the plebs who have to make up the shortfall.

UK to scupper plans to ban bee-killer pesticides. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2013/mar/13/owen-paterson-ban-pesticides-bees#start-of-comments Thousands of home business honey producers have been ruined by agro corp and it's pursuit of profits at the expense of public health and concern issues. Consequently, despite three quarters of the British public supporting this ban, our politicians show once again that when it comes to sticking their heads up Big Corp's arses they are without equal, EU membership or not.

Top ten most burdensome laws for small firms revealed. http://www.eubusiness.com/topics/sme/law-burdens EU legislation surrounding VAT, product safety, waste disposal and data protection are among the most burdensome for small and medium-sized enterprises, a consultation by the European Commission (EC) has revealed. The purpose of the consultation was to identify where EU regulation is restricting jobs and growth and reduce unnecessary red tape for small firms. The EC said it would introduce a range of measures to reduce the burden on smaller firms, such as conducting impact assessments of new laws affecting small firms, simplifying and updating legislation and making it simpler and more efficient to comply with. (EnterpriseQuest)

Pickles tells councils to stop wasting millions on translations. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/12/pickles-councils-stop-wasting-millions-on-translations/ Amazing, isn't it? Just as we were saying way back on 31.01.2013. A pity though, because it does mean significant business for home-based translators; even though we also mentioned at the time that we weren't actually seeing much evidence of this kind of work. Perhaps the councils are following in the footsteps of Theresa May's inner scrotum of clueless civil servants and farming the work out to a single, incompetent agency?

Councillors who offered help to developers 'may have broken the law'. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9925903/Planning-investigation-you-may-have-broken-law-councillors-told.html Yes, we know that. So what's new?

Horsemeant scandal has changed shoppers' habits. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21765737# It's been good news for small local producers and suppliers but for how long? If the will were there, local authorities would be sitting down now and coming up with long-term plans for promoting family and High Street businesses on their patch. But I've not heard of a solitary initiative so far. There's no bungs involved.

Funding for Lending scheme for self-employed and small businesses, to receive boost from Government. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/383886/Boost-for-loans

The Six Myths that stop people changing their banks. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/money/saving/article-2292347/Is-time-binned-bank-The-myths-switching-better-deal.html

IT hiring at four times the rate of retail as online sales boom. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/10983

Start-up food and drink businesses finacing themselves through crowdfunding. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/10963

A few favourite places to eat in France. http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2013/mar/11/readers-tips-eating-france Eating out in France can be as disappointing these days as eating out was in the UK thirty years ago. The problem is, the French don't seem to know it. I haven't personally eaten at any of these recommendations so - best of luck!

Past Masterchef winners: what are they doing now? http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/features/masterchef-winners-where-are-they-now-8531467.html?action=gallery

12.03.2013: Insolvency rate hits lowest level for five years. http://press.experian.com/United-Kingdom/Press-Release/january-
business-insolvency-figures-hit-lowest-rate-since-june-2007.aspx
The number of business insolvencies fell to its lowest rate since 2007 in January 2013, according to research by Experian. The research found the greatest fall in insolvencies was among medium-sized firms. The smallest enterprises, with between one and two employees, also saw a slight fall in insolvency rates. Max Firth, Managing Director of Experian, said: "High profile insolvencies so far this year show that it is still a challenging climate and businesses across all sectors and sizes need to adapt to changes in their trading environment." (EnterpriseQuest)

Independents outnumber chain store openings. http://www.talkingretail.com/news/industry-news/independents-
opened-three-times-more-stores-than-chain-stores-in-2012
Independent retailers opened three times more shops than chain stores in the year to January 2013, according to research by the Local Data Company (LDC). The research revealed more than 15,900 independent stores were opened in 2012, compared to just 5,600 chain store outlets, and that independents now account for 69% of all retail and leisure units throughout the UK. However, although the total number of independent stores grew by 852 stores in the first half of 2012 (taking into account the number of closures), the number fell by 39 in the second half of the year. Matthew Hopkinson of the LDC said this was a major concern as it was the first fall in independent store numbers since 2010. (EnterpriseQuest)

Still an amazing result given all the bent and supine councillors at the trough, as the news items immediately below and the day before, reveal. Just imagine how much could be done for the 'High Street' if it enjoyed the same degree of influential enthusiasm as property and supermarket developers take for granted.

Planning officers helping to exploit councils. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9923680/Moonlighting-planning-officers-help-builders-exploit-vulnerable-councils.html This is as about as old hat as doping in sport - especially the country's national game of professional cheating. Still. We must pretend to be shocked. Arrange a few anonymous posts from morons on the tabloid forums.

Concerns over cash machines access. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21746561#

National Apprenticeship Week. http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/03/11/national-apprenticeship-week-theres-no-better-way-to-work-than-earning-while-you-are-learning/ The stuff of the country's future workforce both waged and self-employed. And not a nation of illiterate wannabe website designers who can't even write code, sitting in a 'home office' with an expensive, crap internet connection and multi-tasking between a computer screen and a dummyphone screen.

'Thousands' of jobs created to deal with PPI mis-selling. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21740274#

Do we work better in cold offices? http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/shortcuts/2013/mar/11/facebook-staff-chill-cold-offices For people working in 'home' offices, I don't think they will have much choice soon, if not already, as energy bills continue to rise. Yet the search engines are still loaded with bunkum articles describing running a business from home as a 'cheap' way to start and run a business. On yer bike! (That'll keep you warm. Set up a turbo trainer in your home office.)

John Lewis abusing its supply chain. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9923395/John-Lewis-abusing-supply-chain-with-rebate-demand.html This Government has put John Lewis on a pedestal and praised it as a 'model British business'. Putting other small businesses out of work. To be expected of this Government and its constant search for flash-mob approval ratings.

British visitors being sidelined for Indian visas. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/9922113/British-travellers-snubbed-over-India-visas.html Tut, tut. That's the problem when you have a Government which conducts itself as a diplomatic retard and does the same unto others. First. So much for the benefits 'accrued' by Da PM's recent trip to India.

How to cash in on your hobby. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/12/how-to-cash-in-on-your-hobby/ It sounds so easy that one is left wondering why all the hacks aren't doing it? Of which there is about as much chance as a French socialist or parasite-fonctionnaire setting up a business and handing over 75% of HIS (or her) hard-earned!!!

'My search for a smartphone that isn't soaked in blood.' http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/search-smartphone-soaked-blood Yes, I can see that is an argument which will make a really big impact on today's dumb yoof and their even dumber parents. What next? Western consciences pricked by filling up with petrol laced with 5% kiddy's blood? Not to worry. Big Brother's on tonight. Then, let's vote UKIP to make new furren friends, bring in loadsa new furren contracts and profitable business deals.

11.03.2013: Small manufacturers expect increased sales in 2013. http://www.mymas.org/news/mas-barometer-q3-report
Almost two thirds of manufacturing firms expect their sales to grow by June 2013, according to a survey by the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS). The survey also found one in four firms were planning to employ more staff, up by 7% on the previous six months, and 44% were planning to invest in new premises and machinery, up by 3%. However, manufacturing firms also identified skills shortages and limited capacity as barriers to their growth. Business Secretary Vince Cable said the Government and manufacturing industry needed to work together to address growth priority issues and attract young people into manufacturing. (EnterpriseQuest)

Bent councillors for hire. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9921344/Councillors-for-hire-who-give-firms-planning-advice.html

Self-published authors hit by Amazon royalties cut. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/9920920/Self-published-authors-hit-by-Amazon-online-royalties-cut.html

Rip-off pension firms poised to cash in. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/383320/Rip-off-pension-firms-cash-in The banks, is it? Or even, the Government?

The 'French connection' which is costing a fortune in phone bills. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/383272/Our-French-connection-costs-fortune-in-phone-bills It could be worse. Advance booking a train in France these days is like a blind man playing poker as the country's leading terrorist group, the CGT, embarks on its annual, holiday extension programme laughingly described as a 'social movement'. Your best bet is to throw away your rail tickets and hire a bike.

More government interpreter/translator incompetence. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2291005/Judge-condemns-firm-using-Polish-centre-translators-hopelessly-incompetent-interpreter-fails-turn-trial-Vietnamese-drug-king.html One would have thought that our future PM, Ms May, would have stepped in to resolve this farce long before now. I wonder why not?

10.03.2013: Saga home insurance premiums row. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21717085#

Budget 2013 to focus on house-building. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/budget/9920026/Budget-2013-Osborne-urged-to-focus-on-house-building.html Or, a favourite short-term economic solution to gain a maximum pleb-approval rating. In the meantime, three quarters of a million houses in the UK remain empty.

West Country B&Bs, pubs and hotels for sale. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/westcountryproperty/9913746/Bandbs-hotels-and-pubs-for-sale-in-the-West-Country.html

How Facebook could get you arrested. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/mar/09/facebook-arrested-evgeny-morozov-extract Common knowledge. It's why 'smart' people don't do Facebook or any social media.

Lying politicians. When I first began lobbying on home business issues around 15 years ago, the lobbying group which agreed to represent us advised me to temper my language and criticism of government and politicians if I wanted to make any progress. I am not surprised that today, according to the following snippet, nothing has changed.

PORKY POLL

Politicians still languish at the bottom of the table of trustworthiness, with only 18% of us trusting our elected representatives not to tell porkies. (The same 18% who also believe what they read in the tabloids. Ed.)

This is the result of the latest Ipsos MORI poll which also reveals low scores for bankers, journalists and estate agents. Doctors, teachers, scientists and judges continue to score highest with very average scores being recorded for trade union officials, business leaders and the police.

Interestingly the poll also scores the "Ordinary person in the street" whom 64% trust to tell the truth, and Pollsters, who only 50% trust. What might be additionally revealing would be the inclusion of spin doctors, lords, lobbyists and lawyers. http://www.ezinematters.com

09.03.2013: Nationwide launches charges current account. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/09/nationwide-launches-charges-account/

Password and data breaches becoming increasingly sophisticated. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/features/think-your-internet-password-is-safe-think-again-8523105.html

Stores hit out at 'political football' being played over tourist visas. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/china-business/9919166/Harrods-boss-Stop-the-political-football-over-visa-issues.html Yes, we've commented numerous times on the Government's 'political immaturity' for their - or the Minister in question, Theresa May's - refusal to grant tourist visas to emerging countries, as no valid reason has ever been offered.

But we certainly have a reason now. It seems Ms May is being groomed for future party leadership. A 'PM', even. And a bit of plastic sabre-rattling against a solitary judge, visitors canned up in a tour bus and other assorted, high media profile bullshit will do very nicely indeed for impressing the 'fuckin' plebs'. At the same time, swathing cuts of several thousand jobs at a time in immigration services is further icing on the cake for dummies. Or, a typical News of the Screws, pro-Tory readership.

For Mothers' Day - a list of Michelin 3 star restaurants from around the world. http://www.3starrestaurants.com/michelin-restaurants-star-guide.asp Unsurprisingly top-heavy for French and Japanese entries. France one understands; Japan apparently, for the promotion of Michelin trye company business interests in the country.

Can't afford a 3-star restaurant? (They are grotesquely expensive and rarely justify the cost, I must admit.) Then cook a meal for Mum yusselves. It will mean even more to her if you do.

You'll also be able to avoid the trots from eating the sort of contaminated food one often finds at Michelin-starred, world's-best restaurants.

How the UK has changed from 1971 - 2011. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/population/9915457/Graphic-how-the-United-Kingdom-has-changed-1971-2011.html Very good source of 'retro' business ideas, this. For example, I only have to look at how people dress nowadays and I'm reminded of my yoof as a refugee. No furren cars. No dummyphones at all. A telly was for life. No big supermarkets. And a pocketful o' cash.

Another BBC (Bent British Coppers) scam. 'Police forces have been caught selling confidential details of road accident victims to insurance companies, claims management companies and ambulance- chasing lawyers', reports the latest issue of Marketing Matters ezine. http://www.ezinematters.com

'The referral fees earned by one force, the Met, amounted to more than £5 million since 2009 and represented more than 10,000 people subsequently pestered to make a personal injury claim, one saying that he had been contacted 340 times.

Referral fees, which have greatly increased the cost of motor insurance, and the income of Police forces, will become illegal in April.'

Enterprising bunch, our police. Helping the criminal media eavesdrop on honest citizens; flogging confidential case details to the criminal media; creative report-writing; assorted moonlighting capers from car-booting to security services. The list seems endless. Has the Government considered recruiting police officers as mentors for their SME mentoring scheme? Unlike retired bank managers, they seem to be up to speed and don't have that much of a bad reputation.

ETHISCORES

Ethical Consumer magazine has published ratings for ethical behaviour for seven supermarkets, based on the firm's impact on the environment, its treatment of animals and people and its stance on such things as genetic engineering and anti-social finance.

The Co-operative 6.5 (Most ethical)
Marks & Spencer 6.3
Waitrose 4
Morrisons/Tesco 2.5
Sainsbury's 2
Asda 0

Thinks. Why hasn't this list appeared in my International Supermarket News bulletins, I wonder?

08.03.2013: Where to get insurance for high risk flood homes. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/07/where-to-get-home-insurance-for-high-flood-risk-homes/

Latest phone security threat. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/07/new-phone-security-threat-unveiled/

Millions paying £70 too much on broadband. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/9913108/Millions-pay-70-too-much-for-broadband.html You'd think people would be using one of the legion broadband comparison sites to get the best deals. Trouble is, they can't get a connection that's fast enough to do any browsing. Still, Ofcon reckon we've got the best broadband in Europe. So that's all right, then.

10 scams on the rise in 2013. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9913773/Ten-scams-on-the-rise-in-2013.html

BUSY WEEK? The Confex exhibition at ExCel in faraway Docklands. March 19 - 21st has a couple of co-located events at the venue that organisers might want to know about, perhaps to make it worth the trek.

o On the same dates is the Live Experience Expo featuring event production, technology and innovations and run by the Confex organisers. http://www.liveexperienceexpo.co.uk

o On March 20th is The Unusual Made Easy Showcase for the Lime Venue Portfolio of venues - see http://www.limevenueportfolio.com This takes place in South Galleries 23 - 26, 3.30 - 7.00pm

Britain becoming a lonelier place to live. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/9915495/Britain-becoming-lonelier-place-to-live.html Nor has it anything to do with that old chestnut of 'working from home', either. Perfect for Big Corp and the Thought Police, though. Keeps everyone glued to their plastic screens for amusement, dumbing down, indoctrination and for the contents of 'fuckin' plebs' wallets to be lifted.

The ten best smartphones. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/mobile-phones/9912237/Best-smartphones-the-ten-best-mobiles.html?utm_source=tmg&utm_medium=td_9912237&utm_campaign=tenBestMobiles0803

New mobile phone goes on sale for just £1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2289540/Talk-IS-cheap-New-mobile-phone-goes-sale-just-1.html

Where to get help with paying your energy bills. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/07/where-to-get-help-with-paying-your-energy-bills/

Weekend Larf: UK at risk of a sterling crisis. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/9916575/Euro-Group-head-says-UK-at-risk-of-sterling-crisis.html Now there's perception for you.

Weekend Larf Part II. How homes have been transformed by technology over the past 40 years. http://www.express.co.uk/news/property/382701/Homes-transformed-by-technology Unfortunately, most people now have a lot less money in their pockets than 40 years ago; they're not so fit or happy or well-educated. There are far fewer jobs or jobs of quality. Business is perpetually bad. Crime and personal security are absolute headaches. Major economies are in turmoil. Nobody loves anyone any more. And there's nothing but non-celebrity crap and repeats on telly. Now that's 'technological' progress for you.

Weekend Larf Part III. Now it's workers as well as businesses which back continued membership of the EU. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/08/workers-back-eu-membership-poll/ Yes, but since when has the tabloid media and politicians ever taken any notice of what the public wants?

The public opinion classic at the moment surrounds 'Baby Butcher' Blair who more than two thirds of the UK population want to see stand trial, imprisoned and preferably, executed for crimes against humanity. Together with his government, apologists and helper-Brownshirts. Yet despite universal revulsion with one of the UK's most sordid periods in history - and there have been many - the media is currently working on a public rehabilition exercise for this filth and his assorted goons. Repaying debts, naturally; war is a very lucrative business for society's psycopaths. But it's all about balance; or in this case, no balance at all.

07.03.2013: Search on for start-up stars of 2013. http://www.enforbusiness.com/news/search-launched-start-stars-2013-20139578

British Chambers of Commerce cut their growth forecast. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21690473# I hope it's not something we said!

Councils urged to open up shops to local entrepreneurs. http://www.enforbusiness.com/news/councils-urged-open-empty-shops-local-entrepreneurs-20139583

Payday lenders told to improve. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21683739#

So-called celebrity entrepreneurs failing to inspire the next generation. http://www.enforbusiness.com/news/celebrity-entrepreneurs-%E2%80%9Cfailing-inspire%E2%80%9D-next-generation-20139576 Never heard of most of them; and they don't even inspire their own generation, much less the yoof.

Microsoft fined by EU over web browser. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21684329#

NatWest crash affects millions. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/mar/07/natwest-bank-system-failure-outage What amazes me is that there are millions of businesses and members of the public that still - and will continue - to use these institutional disasters. At the second time around for exactly the same problem as last year.

The UK's most popular second home spots. http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/03/06/the-most-popular-second-home-locations/

06.03.2013: 'Short-termism' damaging future of British business. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21659742#

New consultancy procurement framework launched. http://www.supplymanagement.com/news/2013/government-launches-consultancy-framework/ A new way of sourcing consultancy services could help more small and medium-sized firms secure Government contracts, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude. Under the new ConsultancyONE framework consultancy contracts worth between £100,000 and £2 million will now be managed by a single buying team through the Government Procurement Service (GPS). Mr Maude said the framework would help the Government save up to 20% on consultancy day rates and reduce the Government's reliance on larger suppliers. (EnterpriseQuest)

Ex-footballer launches 'buy-to-let' academy. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/9909871/Ex-footballer-Robbie-Fowler-sets-up-buy-to-let-school.html

HMRC targets second home sales and buy-to-let landlords. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/capital-gains-tax/9908066/HMRC-targets-second-home-sales.html

Florida holiday homes scammer jailed. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2288418/Florida-property-developer-cheated-hundreds-British-families-16MILLION-holiday-homes-scam-jailed.html

UK broadband services are among the best in Europe, claim Ofcom. http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/moaning-about-your-broadband-it-could-be-worse--you-could-be-in-france-or-italy-8520946.html Whereabouts in Britain do Ofcom live, then?

Top 50 money saving measures. http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2013/03/05/the-top-50-money-saving-measures/ Worth a chuckle, if nothing else.

Transport poverty hits 800,000 claims RAC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21675153#

Younger drivers could save 20% on insurance premiums. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21667802#

The Ten Best Farmers' Markets. http://www.independent.co.uk/extras/indybest/food-drink/the-10-best-farmers-markets-8521126.html

Sales of vegetarian foods on the rise. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/05/horsemeat-scandal-sales-vegetarian-alternatives

05.03.2013: Official release: Big companies promise to pay promptly following Government drive. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/big-companies-pledge-to-pay-promptly-following-government-drive 'The number of FTSE 350 companies pledging to pay small firms promptly has tripled,' claims the release. From 1 to 3, no doubt.

Small firms 'secure more Government contracts'. http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=22306 The value of Government contracts secured by small and medium-sized firms increased from £3.2 billion in 2010/11 to £4.4 billion in 2011/12, according to figures published by the Cabinet Office. In addition, the Government's major suppliers increased spending with smaller firms in their supply chain by 6%. Cabinet Office minister Chloe Smith said the Government had improved procurement procedures and reduced bureaucracy to make it easier for smaller suppliers to win contracts. (EnterpriseQuest)

High Street sales figures best for three years. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/381876/High-street-stores-boosted-by-best-sales-for-three-years

High street closures increased in 2012. http://www.ukmediacentre.pwc.com/News-Releases/PwC-and-the-Local-Data-Company-s-
retail-store-closure-statistics-show-shutdowns-climb-tenfold-in-a-y-1383.aspx
Closures of multiple retailers on the high street increased from 174 in 2011 to 1,779 in 2012, according to research published by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The research revealed the highest levels of closures were among shops selling cards, computer games, clothes and health foods, as well as travel agents. Despite this, certain sectors saw growth over this period, with increasing numbers of discount stores, pawnbrokers, charity shops and coffee shops opening on the high street. Mike Jervis of PwC commented: "The failed chains generally shared two problems - too many stores and too little multi-channel activity." (EnterpriseQuest)

Tax online shops to save our High Streets. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/381643/Tax-online-shops-to-save-our-high-streets Or the supermarket chains. The idea isn't new but hasn't met with any political support so far because of fierce lobbying by those concerned. The normal, corrupt state of affairs, in other words. The major problem though, remains local authorities. There's little use in relieving the pressure at one point for it to be doubly re-applied elsewhere.

Unprecedented rise in PPI complaints to Ombudsman. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21654732#

Fraudsters who rely on the good name of others. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/04/the-fraudsters-who-rely-on-the-good-name-of-others/

3 out of 5 football players declare bankruptcy after taking retirement. http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/a-reason-to-feel-sorry-for-premier-league-players-three-of-five-players-declare-bankruptcy-after-retirement-8519908.html

Over a million people in Britain do not speak English well. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/381820/Over-a-million-people-in-Britain-do-not-speak-English-well Like . . . Oh, my God!!! Seriously, though, this figure is substantially less than tabloids have suggested in the past. They've obviously stopped counting school-leavers with a GCSE in English.

Spanish authorities tracking down tax-dodging expat Brits. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/05/heavy-spanish-tax-fines-may-hit-expats/

04.03.2013: Banks reducing lending still further. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21653603#

Which? calling for credit crackdown. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/04/which-calling-for-credit-crackdown/

Construction output falls further still. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21655750#

Shell LiveWire entrepreneur challenge survey; 3 x £100 Amazon vouchers to be won. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/M93VRR8

'Bedroom tax' to hurt single parents and disabled the hardest. http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/mar/04/benefits-housing So much for grafters trying to break out of the poverty trap by setting up a home office from a spare bedroom. All gone the same way as the fake 'homeworking revolution'.

Working from home is 'inadequate'. http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2013/mar/02/alexandra-shulman-working-from-home Looks like the media is starting to back off the latest 'revolution' that never was. Other than in its own minds.

Still more media backtracking. 'Mary, Queen of Shops' becomes 'Mary, Queen of Flops'. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287322/Mary-Queen-Flops-Retail-gurus-flagship-regeneration-scheme-Margate-branded-hopeless-gimmick-seaside-traders.html

'Even Google won't be around for ever, let alone Facebook.' http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/mar/03/google-facebook-nothing-lasts-for-ever And yet another turnaround prediction.

British biggest nuisance call firms revealed. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/9904639/Named-British-Gas-and-other-major-firms-making-billions-of-unwanted-calls-every-year.html

Millions facing fraud and ID theft through mobile phones. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/04/millions-risk-fraud-and-id-theft-through-mobile/ You'd have thought they would have brought out an app for it by now.

Young Cornish brothers win world Pasty Championships. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2287576/Cornish-brothers-pasty-kings-Pair-suitable-follow-fathers-footsteps-triumph-World-Championships.html

Latvia applies to enter eurozone. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21656254# Latvia, with a population of just over 2 million, is reportedly bracing itself for a wave of 40 million idle, benefit-claiming, British immigrant-plumber-criminals after a recent tabloid poll showed that two thirds of Brits wanted to move to another country. (Statistical sample: 250.)

03.03.2013: Drought and floods will become common events in Britain. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/mar/02/britain-faces-more-floods-and-droughts Yes. We've known that for a long time. And no government of any political shade, is going to be able to do much about it. So head for dem hills, as we keep saying.

How to buy or sell a home online. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/02/how-to-buy-or-sell-a-home-online/

Women at odds over working from home. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/women-at-odds-over-working-from-home-8518075.html

Start your own business with a Dragons' Den star. http://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/381374/Start-your-own-business-with-Dragons-Den-star Pure advertorial and probably the worst possible endorsement for starting your own business.

A bitter harvest and a cruel winter for farmers. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/agriculture/farming/9903746/Bitter-harvest-and-cruel-winter-for-farmers.html

How bad is Britain's debt problem? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/investing/9902460/AAA-credit-rating-blow-How-bad-is-Britains-debt-problem.html

Huge loophole in bedroom tax. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/381444/Huge-loophole-in-bedroom-tax

Best grow-your-own fruit and veg for 2013. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/gardeningpicturegalleries/9781153/Toby-Bucklands-best-fruit-and-veg-for-2013.html?utm_source=tmg&utm_medium=td_gardenshop&utm_campaign=bestPlantsandVegetables

Drugs testing to be stepped up for cricketers. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/381426/Drug-tests-stepped-up-for-cricketers Testing for recreational drugs only - not performance boosters. Still. It looks good on paper without unduly upsetting match-fixing arrangements and the bookies by trying to become a 'clean' sport.

Weekend Larf: Daily Mail Challenge to Big Corp to say what they pay (in tax). http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2287231/Our-challenge-secretive-big-business-Say-pay.html As one poster puts it - Why doesn't The Daily Mail go first?

02.03.2013: Home ownership at 25-year low. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/home-ownership-sinks-to-25year-low-and-could-continue-shrinking-8517465.html

After PPI, three more scams for you to try. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/9902348/Reclaimed-PPI-Here-are-three-more-you-can-try.html

IAAF to unmask athletes who doped in 2005 Helsinki World Championships. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/othersports/athletics/9903233/IAAF-to-unmask-drugs-cheats-after-hundreds-of-samples-from-2005-World-Athletics-Championships-are-re-tested.html As we said weeks ago, the Armstrong case will open a can of worms across all the sporting codes which together with the media, have been keeping a lid on their hypocritical, dirty little secrets for centuries. Tennis and athletics so far; a bit of a doping confession stutter from an ex-professional footballer; swimming above all, to follow. Although there, I'm afraid, the guardians of that particular sport's moral virtues are currently basking in the stale publicity surrounding their Armstrong, errr, 'revelations'. The ball will finally start to roll when sponsors make a global re-assessment of the situation.

Household appliance safety warning. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21630150#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

3.3% mid-contract price hike for Orange and T-Mobile customers. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/01/3-3-mid-contract-price-hike-for-orange-and-t-mobile-customers/

CNET Community: Please help me understand today's tablet craze. http://nls.cnet.com/pageservices/viewOnlineNewsletter.sc?list_id=e497&send_date=03/01/2013

UK manufacturing suffers 'shock' contraction. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21629528#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa No shocks for us, I'm afraid. This has been coming since the days of Thatcherism and if you take the country's US-influenced arms manufacture out of the equation, then GB is left with precisely what this Government's and UKIP's heroine ordered - no more output; no more public services; no more taxpayers' silver to flog off for a quick, economic high. The long lie is dead. Long live the next lie. (Whether it be the EU; or immigration; or terrorism; or civil servants; or the police; or the BBC; or anyone or anything else. Conveniently forgetting that it takes decades of bad government to dismantle a country's economy.)

01.03.2013: Freebie Friday. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/01/this-weeks-discounts-deals-and-freebies/

Official release: English business survey statistics 2012: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/english-business-survey-statistical-release-december-2012

Official release: Open consultation. Simpler financial reporting for micro-entities: the UK's proposal to implement the 'Micros Directive'. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/simpler-financial-reporting-for-micro-entities-the-uks-proposal-to-implement-the-micros-directive and Company and business names. https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/company-and-business-names-red-tape-challenge

Two thirds of Brits are boycotting tax-dodging Big Corp. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/01/firms-boycotted-over-tax-stance/ Buggrit. First the EU clamps down on bankers' bonuses. And now the public are boycotting the other half of Dave's mates. It's a good job The News Of The Screws is about to return to the Sunday news-stands to help give the Government advice.

High Street bloodletting continues. http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/news/10690

Nationwide current account paying 5% interest. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/03/01/nationwide-current-account-pays-market-leading-5-interest/

The dangers of joining a lottery syndicate. http://money.aol.co.uk/2013/02/28/the-dangers-of-joining-a-lottery-syndicate/

Smartphones are 'emasculating'. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2013/feb/28/google-sergey-brin-smartphones-emasculating

Net migration to the UK falls by a third. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9899509/Net-migration-falls-by-a-third.html Yet another massive blow to the already non-existent credibility of the UK's tabloids but confirming what we were suggesting a couple of years ago - that once the Olympic construction phase was over, a lot of skilled East Europeans would be going back to their own countries or onto destinations like Canada and Australia where they were in great demand. The article suggests that falling student numbers might be the explanation but it's been a few years now since the UK has been competitive on university fees and I'm not so sure of this being a major contributory cause. (Plus, an Oxbridge Double First in Economics (Failed) and Crimes Against Humanity doesn't have much international cachet these days, either.)

Will this mean more work for self-employed Brits, especially in the construction sector? I don't think so. One of the reasons these figures have become so evident - and a drop of one third is massive - is because there just isn't enough work to go around any more. Period.

'I want to work from home', says Mila Kunis. http://www.express.co.uk/news/showbiz/380817/I-want-to-work-from-home-Sultry-Mila-Kunis-wows-at-Oz-Great-and-Powerful-premiere Who?

Britain's cheapest energy deal. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/consumertips/household-bills/9899507/Households-urged-to-switch-to-Britains-cheapest-energy-deal.html

International Tennis Federation becomes first sport outside professional cycling to call for biological passports. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/9901202/International-Tennis-Federation-backs-Andy-Murray-and-Roger-Federers-call-for-tougher-anti-doping-measures.html Only five years later than professional cycling of course, and spurred on purely by the common knowledge of widescale doping in tennis- despite it being kept as quiet as possible by the media. Then again, tennis brings in a lot of money. Unlike professional cycling which until quite recently, has been very much a minority sport.

Still, as we suggested once the theatrical Armstrong case first broke wind a few months ago, it's the start of good news for all the small-fry, self-employed sportsfolk who are just the footsoldiers in a huge money-generating scam which has sucked in everyone from politicians to the media, all working off their collective socks for the sporting world's mafia and their agents. Such as the self-styled 'anti-doping' agencies who have presided over an increasingly lucrative status quo across all sporting domains; especially those which bring in the most money.

What Brits miss most when abroad is - a cuppa tea. http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/381040/Lack-of-a-decent-cuppa-makes-holidays-quite-a-strain-for-Brits I'd certainly agree with this observation. I take my own (Yorkshire) tea bags when I travel but the other big problem for the taste of a traditional English cuppa is homogenised supermarket milk, which is often the default milk in Johnny Furrener-land. It makes the tea taste disgusting. So if you can, ask for some fresh or 'bio' milk. If you run out of your own tea-bags then Lipton tea can be found most places albeit, considerably weakened to cater for being drunk without milk. In which case, use 2 - 3 teabags - although it's a poor substitute.

Caffeine is so lethal it should be regulated like alcohol and tobacco. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2285854/Caffeine-dangerous-regulated-like-alcohol-cigarettes-warns-leading-expert.html It already is a prescribed substance in the sporting world. Well, in those sporting disciplines where there is regular testing, one might add. Otherwise, we're left with an army of tabloid hacks who by the time it's 2pm down at their local watering holes, are more doped up than Lance Armstrong ever was. Before they return to their offices for the daily grind of lying, bullying decent people and downloading kiddy porn.

Thought for March. Just about the only 'business' programme I watch on TV is Alex Polizzi helping out small family firms facing disaster. It's the absolutely typical daily scenario of most small businesses that know it all and leave problem-solving to the last minute. (Plus, she's a very handsome woman although that's irrelevant and I don't know why I even mentioned it.) I then put on my anorak and see if I can identify the same problems and their solutions as Alex and her teams of experts come up with.

So can someone enlighten me? Why, over all the programmes I have watched, hasn't she or any of her experts ever suggested using social media? Even websites have rarely received a mention.

Just a thought. (Perhaps the Government's platoons of fake business gurus, nano-celebrities and wizz-fart economists might know?)


With our usual gratitude and thanks to BAD News and Cobweb Info.

Len Tondel

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eBOSS March 2013 contents:

Introduction: 25% HBA Member discount from Businesses For Sale.

AIMS for Home Business Alliance members:


Pick of the News:
Economic climate is top small business problem; Consumers cut spending on groceries and clothing; Small firms believe tax system has become less fair; HMRC launches more tax taskforces; EFG scheme has funded over 10,000 firms; Cash boost for seaside towns announced; New bank for farmers leasing equipment; Phase two of Welsh business growth fund launched; ASA to monitor online behavioural advertising rules; New Northern Ireland loan fund announced; New Northern Ireland loan fund announced; New patent court to be based in London; "Fairer" rent arrears collection process announced; Proposed changes to childcare sector announced; Proposed changes to childcare sector announced'; Proposed changes to childcare sector announced; Adjudicator 'should investigate supermarkets' pricing pressure'; HSE announces construction site inspections

'Gone to India . . .' by Rachael Ross and the 'How To Work Successfully From Home Guide'. Rachael's February Guest Article: What It Takes To Make A Successful Female Entrepreneur, Part 2

Tax and VAT News
FREE! 101 Insider Business Tax Tips

Tax cheats - where are we now?; HMRC guidance - can it be relied on?
Tax Relief For Home To Work Travel - article

HMRC VAT car and van update; HMRC help business cash flow; 'HMRC launch online tax help for small businesses'; Making money from a hobby; etc, etc
TaxationWeb community toolbar

For our rapidly-growing numbers of Chinese followers we have this month - Fairy Dust? No! Ferry Magic by Colin Edwards

Quick Start Guide to Online Business; Get in Business Online With These 9 Steps.

4 Options For Small Business Marketing On A Budget.

Things You Say:
Consumer Action Group newsletter; TotalInvestor blog and newsletter; Google Adwords tips and free report; Big Pockets trade accounts; Planning Enterprise; Google Adwords tips and free report; UK business directory, MisterWhat.co.uk; Free gift from Office Giant for new orders over £60; window film company: reduce glare, reduce heat, save money; Action Planning summer programme guide; UK Biz Sales; Art of Design webmag; all about creating and editing .pdf files; Maximising Mobile Marketing; Can you please help?; Cyber-security - mitigating the threat seminar; 10 Steps To Mobile Marketing Nirvana et al; disposal of your IT equipment; half-price business card offer; Save up to 43% on summer train fares; August theatre deals; Achieving Business Excellence workshop; Creating video for the web course plus other open course programmes; Create Video Marketing Suite; Royalty-free stock photography; On-line security test; Exceptional discounts with DHL and UPS; compare legal costs; Guidance for small firms considering cloud computing; Free carbon footprint calculator;
sell your unwanted printer cartridges; easy and secure online storage; Royal Mail business pack; free website building links; courier price comparison website; airport parking checker and booking site;

 

 

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