Also in the news this week - 14 October 2016

Small is sweet when it comes to job satisfaction

A new LinkedIn survey reveals that staff at the UK's small businesses enjoy the highest levels of job satisfaction; and companies with less than ten employees are seen as the best employers of all. In fact, the poll found that 37% of workers would even be willing to take a pay cut for the chance to work for a start-up. Even so, many small business owners say they struggle to find and hire the best people.

Living wage is causing some sectors distress

There has been a 23% increase in the number of businesses facing financial difficulties since the introduction of the National Living Wage, according to insolvency firm Begbies Traynor. Its research focused on those sectors most impacted by the National Living Wage, including retail, bars and restaurants, hotels, sports and health clubs and transport. The increase has been described as a "drastic spike" with about 18,000 more firms facing difficulties this month than were reported in April this year.

Small firms optimistic as they plan growth

Almost three-quarters (73%) of UK small firms with five or more employees are planning to grow "dramatically or moderately" over the next two years, according to Albion Ventures. Its annual Growth Report polled 1,000 SMEs and found that half of respondents are also expecting to increase their employee headcount in the next two years. Not surprisingly, top concerns were finding skilled staff as well as red tape, regulatory change and difficulty accessing new markets.

Wholesalers feeling the pinch

Problems facing wholesalers, including the falling pound, could trigger rising prices for retailers and consumers, Funding Options has warned. It says that banks cut lending to wholesalers by £409 million in June and July adding to the pressure that the sector is under. Conrad Ford, Funding Options ceo, said: "Wholesalers are not always perceived as the most essential sector of the economy but they play a vital part in supporting small businesses, especially shops and restaurants. Financial difficulties suffered by wholesalers cause problems up and down supply chains."

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