How does a new Prime Minister affect you?
The reality for many small businesses and households has taken a turn for the worse recently as prices continue to surge, particularly energy. So, what’s on offer from the new Prime Minister?
The first announcement of the new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, was a plan to freeze energy prices for two years at £2500 for the average home and with the £400 rebate previously announced, takes this to £2100. There will be equivalent help for Northern Ireland. The amount saved by each family will depend on how much energy they use, and households have been urged to reduce their overall usage if they can because of the serious Europe-wide shortage of the natural gas which powers much of the heating and electricity network.
Liz Truss also said that a fund will be created to support those who are not covered by the cap. More details are expected in the next two weeks.
Unlike domestic customers, energy bills for businesses are not capped and the rising cost is proving critical for many companies, especially smaller firms. Liz Truss announced that businesses will get an “equivalent support” for a six-month period, but it is not clear what that means as the UK government have not yet published the unit cost per unit of gas and electricity that they are using to generate the domestic cap so cannot yet confirm whether the same unit cost will be applied to business customers. After the six-month period, further support will be targeted at “vulnerable industries”. We will update you when further information is available.
The new Prime Minister also has a recession to deal with and the Bank of England has warned that little can be done to stop the UK falling into a recession as the war in Ukraine continues. Its governor, Andrew Bailey, said it would “overwhelmingly be caused by the actions of Russia and the impact on energy prices”. The Bank expects the economy to shrink in the last three months of 2022 and keep shrinking until the end of 2023.
To address the recession one of her strategies could be a change in taxation policy designed to increase economic growth by putting more money in our pockets and allowing businesses headroom to invest. We will keep you informed over the coming weeks if taxation policy changes.
As with any downturn in the economy, some types of business are more likely to run into cash flow problems, while other types appear to be more resilient. If you are a business owner, you might be wondering which category your business falls into. No matter how inventive or simple your business model is, you can still have problems with cash flow.
To understand and predict how cash flows in your business, start by performing a health check on your accounts. Look at your latest profit and loss statement and check that your income is sufficient to cover your expenses. If your profit is falling behind your expenses and cash flow is slowing down you might need to take action.
Talk to us about preparing a cash flow statement and budget so that we can work with you to maximise your business’s resilience over the next two years.
Safety net for Horizon Europe applicants extended
The government has extended its guarantee scheme offering financial support to successful Horizon Europe applicants.
The extension will ensure that eligible Horizon Europe awardees will continue to be guaranteed funding, supporting them to continue their important work in research and innovation.
The guarantee will now be in place to cover all Horizon Europe calls that close on or before 31 December 2022, with the majority of grant signature dates expected before the end of August 2023.
Eligible, successful Horizon Europe UK applicants will receive the full value of their funding at their UK host institution for the lifetime of the grant. Awardees will be able to remain in the UK to receive this funding, which will provide reassurance for future collaborations, and support UK researchers whether UK association to Horizon Europe is confirmed, or otherwise.
How to deal with data protection complaints you receive as a small business
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has written a guide to help small businesses deal with complaints about how they’ve used people’s information. If you are a small charity, small group or club, or small organisation, you will also find it useful.
Even with appropriate data protection policies in place, sometimes your staff, contractors, customers or others whose data you hold may be unhappy with how you have handled their personal information. Your response matters, because taking the right steps will help to protect your reputation as a business that cares about people’s information. This will also help you provide a better service to your customers.
The guide is to help you decide what to do if you receive a data protection complaint.
Bidding process for Wales’ first freeport
The Welsh and UK Governments are now inviting applications for Wales’ first freeport, which should be up and running by summer 2023.
A Welsh freeport will be a special zone with the benefits of simplified customs procedures, relief on customs duties, tax benefits, and development flexibility.
The Welsh and UK Governments have worked together to design a freeport model which will deliver on three main objectives which must be met by applicants:
- Promote regeneration and high-quality job creation.
- Establish the Freeport as a national hub for global trade and investment across the economy.
- Foster an innovative environment.
As part of a fair and open competitive process to determine where the policy should be implemented in Wales, the Welsh Government and UK Government are today jointly publishing Freeport Programme in Wales: bidding prospectus, which sets out the policy objectives both governments seek to achieve through the establishment of the freeport programme, and the parameters for how bids will be assessed.
The bidding process opened on the 1 September 2022. Applicants will have 12 weeks to complete and submit their bids. Bids must be submitted by 6pm on Thursday 24 November 2022.
The successful bid will be announced in early spring 2023, with the freeport being established by summer 2023.
Free downloadable guides to start or grow your business
Enterprise Nation has a free start up kit available. The Start Up Kit is for anyone considering or starting a business. This kit offers all the tools and tips you need to succeed. It’ll help you find an idea, spot a gap in the market and start your own small business
The guide covers:
With any undertaking, preparation is key. Learn the base ingredients required for you to start a successful enterprise!
You have your idea. It’s supported by research and a plan pointing you in the right direction. It’s now time to start making sales.
Now it’s time to grow your profits by keeping the business in balance, staying on top of cash flow and getting good support.