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SME confidence hits highest levels for three years

Confidence among small and medium-sized businesses stands at its highest level for three years, says the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The Federation’s Confidence Index, which measures responses from 2,000 owner managers on a quarterly basis, found that four in ten had experienced increased revenues during the previous three months, and that confidence was improving in almost all sectors across the UK.

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FSB says small firms’ hiring intentions are on-the-up

Small businesses are taking on more staff compared with last quarter according to the Federation of Small Businesses. The Voice of Small Business Index found that 15 per cent have increased their staff numbers in the third quarter of 2013. This is the highest figure reported since the Index began in 2010 and mirrors recent improvement in labour market figures.

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£3.2bn available to SMEs via Regional Growth Fund

The Regional Growth Fund, a £3.2bn fund operating across England, is due to accept applications from SMEs for the next round of funding. The fifth round – which will focus entirely on private enterprise proposals – is due to open in October, and will close on 9th December 2013.

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Mayor of London urges SMEs to capitalise on Tokyo 2020 Games

With Tokyo confirmed as the host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Mayor of London Boris Johnson is urging SMEs to get involved and sell to the Japanese city, reports Real Business. Speaking today in Canary Wharf, Johnson told 500 London-based small businesses they should use their skills, expertise and experience of the 2012 Games to win contracts around the globe.

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£300 million boost for SME lending

Small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) struggling to access finance received a boost today as the Business Secretary Vince Cable launched the first phase of the new business bank.

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Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill published

The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill has now been published and presented to Parliament.  From an employment law perspective, it includes measures to improve the employment tribunal system, as well as provisions on various non-employment matters.

Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Bill will improve the employment tribunal system by encouraging parties to come together to settle their dispute before an employment tribunal claim is lodged, through ACAS early conciliation and greater use of settlement agreements. It will also make the determination of less complex disputes quicker and cheaper for employers and employees alike, through a new ‘Rapid Resolution’ scheme.  Taking away the fear of employment tribunals will, according to the Government, give business more confidence to take on new staff.

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