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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


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Issue:- 04 November 2010

North West businesses plan for growth

BUSINESSES in the region are planning for growth despite being affected by changes to access to finance according to the North West results of the ICAEW Enterprise Survey.

77% of businesses in the North West plan turnover growth over the next two years inline with the national average. Encouragingly, the proportion of businesses planning growth of 6% or more has increased from 26% to 42% compared with last year.

Increasing profitability is the primary objective for North West companies. However, raising capital remains a barrier to growth with local businesses more likely to say they have been adversely affected by changes in access to finance than the UK overall (42% compared with 31%).

During the next five years planned growth is anticipated within the UK with local firms less likely (29%) than businesses in the UK overall (39%) to say that they have plans to increase the number of countries they sell to.

Meanwhile, around half of these businesses in the region feel that the UK’s regulatory and taxation regime is business friendly, presenting a similar picture to the UK as a whole.

Melanie Christie, ICAEW North West Regional Director, said:- “The ICAEW Enterprise Survey in line with the ICAEW Business Confidence Monitor shows that access to finance remains a key issue for businesses in the North West. As trusted advisors Chartered Accountants often act as the conduit between businesses and their banks. Through events, such as the Bankers Question Time, we will continue to address the issues surrounding access to finance to support our members whose advice will be key to driving forward business growth in the region.”

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Margie Clarke was in Liverpool...

THESE are a few snaps taken at bookshop Waterstones, in Liverpool ONE of Margie Clarke at her book signing of her autobiography, 'Memoirs of a working class diva.'

Help for retail sector as new guide asks ‘how healthy is your high street’?

A simple new health check to help local business people spot early signs of decline in their High Street was launched on Thursday, 2 November 2010, by Business Minister Mark Prisk.

The ‘Healthy High Street’ guide is the first of its kind - a practical aid to help local businesses, councils and community organisations spot the early warning signs and prevent further degeneration.

The guide was produced with the help of business organisations, high street traders and town centre managers and is based on their real life experiences. It includes tips such as how to check on whether an area is attractive to customers, whether there are good parking and public transport facilities and looking at the variety of shops on offer. It then helps them to work together to draw up an action plan for what needs to change to rejuvenate the area and put that plan into action.

Business Minister Mark Prisk said:- “There are almost 5,400 streets called ‘High Street’ in the country, but we recognise that some of these have faced real problems: empty shops, vandalism and loss of customers. Much of this could have been averted if they had spotted the signs early enough and if local people – chambers, town centre businesses and local authorities – had joined together to take appropriate action. My colleagues and I are committed to tackling these challenges head on. After all, our high streets need to be centres for economic growth as we move towards the recovery. This practical new guide is the first to identify indicators of future decline. Its health check approach make it easier to assess the true state of a local high street, evaluate the risks and take real steps, such as establishing a Business Improvement District, and turn an area around. As the new local enterprise partnerships develop, the successes in a particular area can then be shared so that other high streets can benefit from their experiences, with the sort of local action that is at the heart of the Government’s Big Society agenda.”

Jenny Frost snapped shooting 'Snog Marry Avoid'


ONE of BBC Three's top shows was in Liverpool filming a new series. The hit fashion show: Snog, Marry, Avoid, was out and about in Boudoir Boutique in Liverpool's world famous Cavern Walks, and also in other shops like Cricket. If you do not know what the show is all about, it is Jenny Frost transforming 'fakery obsessed‘ or 'Slap addict' Brits into 'natural beauties' with the thanks of 'POD' - 'the Personal Overhaul Device'. The idea is that the show strips the subject who enters 'POD' of their skimpy clothes and layers of make up and giving them a make under instead of a make over. The Snog, Marry, Avoid, bit comes from questions posed at the beginning and end of the efforts of 'POD'. The show asks members of the public if they would "Snog, Marry, Avoid" and then records their results to see if the transformation was an improvement or not. The idea is to help the subject get a more generally positive outcome. Jenny Frost also re-introduced the subject to their partner or relative outside the TV studio and captured the reactions. It is to be regarded as a type of reality TV show as it also sees Jenny Frost sometimes re-visiting the subject. On her re-visit she finds out if they have kept their look and discuss the effects of the transformation.

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