While the overall news agenda continued to be dominated by stories big business, this week has yielded some interesting stories for the SME sector too.
Joley Kirby, SME Procurement Manager, Fujitsu UK & Ireland, @FujitsuSMELady, shares the stories of the week below.
- Firstly, National business group the Forum of Private Business this week set out its regular wish-list ahead of Chancellor George Osborne’s upcoming Autumn Statement, urging Number 10 to capitalise on recent signs of recovery in the UK. The FPB’s headline recommendation is for Osborne to take urgent action to help SMEs tackle issues affecting cash flow, such as late payment, by strengthening enforcement of the Prompt Payment Code to prohibit companies that have extended their payment terms within the previous 12 months from joining, and making it compulsory for them to produce an annual declaration of payment time statistics.
- The National Apprenticeship Service, in conjunction with BigChoice.com, has also come up with a list of then things that all SMEs need to know about with regards to making the most out of bringing apprentices into their environment. For example, starting in August this year, apprentices aged 24 and over enrolled on an Advanced or Higher Apprenticeship are now offered an Advanced Learning Loan, which further reduces costs for the employer. Businesses still have to make a contribution towards costs but the remaining costs are paid by the apprentice. Go find out more about this, at the Gov.uk website.
- And last but not least, The Guardian offered some excellent advice on what to do once you’ve landed a large contract. However, if you’re still in the process of trying to land your big contract, we suggest you check out our Collaboration Nation report – which will give your insight into how big and small businesses can work together most effectively to ensure that their relationships are mutually beneficial.
We are interested in hearing from you. What was the key news for your business this week? Are you considering taking on an apprentice? And are you struggling to win a big contract or to make one work for you? Let us know by commenting below, or engaging with us @Fujitsu_UK
Photo credit: The U.S. National Archives