Only one in five
small firms concerned about the Budget, survey finds
BARELY a fifth of small business
owners believe this week’s budget will have a significant impact on
their firms, according to new research.
In a survey of its members, the Forum of Private Business found that
only 22% are factoring the budget in their plans for 2010.
Even fewer small business owners believe the general election will
have an effect on their plans, at just 19%.
The Forum’s quarterly Referendum ballot revealed that day-to-day
concerns are much more likely to be at the forefront of business
Sales and turnover emerged as the leading concern for small firms
when planning for 2010, emerging as an issue for 77% of respondents.
Meanwhile, 71% said they were planning for the year ahead by
thinking about profitability and 69% by being concerned with cash
Staffing was also high up the priority list, with employee levels
being a concern for 60% of those surveyed.
Commenting on the results, the Forum’s research manager, Thomas
Parry, said:- “I think there’s a certain amount of cynicism
about this year’s Budget and this research reflects that. A lot of
business owners are simply presuming that there’s going to be
another budget straight after the election so they’re not paying it
too much attention. The things they are concerned with at the moment
are the more pressing issues associated with running a business in a
struggling economy. While I think there has been a noticeable
increase in confidence among small firms over the past 12 months,
things like cash flow, employment law and business rates are still
at the forefront of our members’ minds.”
Referendum also asked Forum members what state support schemes they
wanted to see increased or retained in the near future.
HMRC’s Time to Pay tax deferral scheme emerged as the favourite,
with an overwhelming 66% of respondents giving it their approval.
The second favourite was 10-day payment by Government bodies, which
58% of respondents wanted to see either increased or retained.
“Most of the Government support schemes we listed drew a pretty
apathetic response but Time to Pay proved hugely popular, as did
10-day payment by public bodies. This reinforces the theme of
business owners knuckling down and concentrating on essential,
day-to-day financial concerns in order to ensure their firms’
survival.” said Mr Parry.
The Forum also quizzed its members on the forthcoming Equality Bill.
An overwhelming 77% of members said their businesses were already
well able to recruit the best employees regardless of age, gender or
ethnicity, casting further doubt on the need for more workplace
Additionally, less than half (49%) were sure they understood the
existing equality and diversity laws and 13% knew a business owner
who had encountered problems due to the legislation.
Mr Parry added:- “More than 50% of those surveyed feel as
though they don’t understand the legislation they currently have to
comply with, so it is imperative that the Equality Bill does not
further complicate the obligations businesses face in this area.”
NEXT OF KIN APPEAL - JOHN SCANLAN
LIVERPOOL Coroners Office are now appealing for the next of
kin of a man who died on Sunday, 21 March 2010. John Scanlan, 76,
died at his home on Chirkdale Street, Liverpool. There are no
suspicious circumstances surrounding his death. The Coroner's Office
has been unable to trace Mr Scanlan's next of kin and is appealing
for any relatives to come forward. He is believed to have relatives
in Liverpool and Canada. Any next of kin, or anyone who has
information about Mr Scanlan's next of kin, is asked to contact the
office of H M Coroner on:- 0151 233 4703.
APPEAL TO TRACE TAXI DRIVER AFTER MAN FOUND SERIOUSLY INJURED
MERSEYSIDE Police are appealing for two taxi drivers who may
have information about a man found seriously injured at the bottom
of stairs at a premises in Bankfield Street in early hours Saturday,
19 March 2010, to come forward.
Officers from Merseyside believe that the victim, a 29 year old man,
was taken to the premises known locally as The Dominion Hotel, in
Kirkdale, some time after 10pm by a taxi driver. They may be able to
help detectives who are trying to piece together events leading up
the victim suffering serious head injuries.
The victim, who is from Northern Ireland, was part of a stag party
visiting the city at the weekend. It is thought he went to the venue
alone and was found injured, just after midnight by a second taxi
driver. Detectives are yet to trace this taxi driver, who could also
have vital information.
This victim was then taken to the Royal Liverpool University
Hospital in a third taxi, this taxi driver has already contacted
On 23 March 2010 Police Detective Chief Inspector Neil Cowdrey of St
Anne Street CID, said:- "This man is still in a critical
condition in hospital having suffered head injuries consistent with
a fall. He is still unconscious in hospital and it is vital we speak
to everyone he came into contact with on Friday night after he left
his friends so that we can piece together what happened. At this
stage we are still trying to understand the events of the night, so
it is vital that we trace both the taxi driver who took him to the
premises some time around 10pm, and the taxi driver who discovered
the victim after midnight. They are both potentially important
witnesses to what went on and it is vital they come forward so that
we can establish how this man was hurt. He is in a very serious
condition at Walton Neurological Hospital with his family at his
bedside. His family have come over from Northern Ireland and are all
incredibly upset at what has happened to him. We have traced the
taxi driver who took him to the Royal but we still need the other
two to come forward. They do not necessarily have to give their
name. They can speak to us anonymously if need be, but it is vital
to our investigation that they speak to us."
The victim is described as being white Irish, around 6ft 1 ins tall,
of medium or muscular build, with short fair hair and a cleanly
shaven face. He was wearing a grey t-shirt and long-sleeved sweater,
with a distinctive blue t-shirt over the top with the words 'Stag
2010' written on the front.
Anyone with information should contact Liverpool North CID on:- 0151
777 4065 or leave information anonymously via Crimestoppers on:-
0800 555 111.