Archive for April, 2011
Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK want the May Day bank holiday to be moved to later in the year.
Some 49 per cent of SMEs are keen for the bank holiday to be replaced as the number of bank holidays around the Easter period means some businesses continue to work through.
Of the 500 managing directors and business owners surveyed by research organisation IFF Research, 37 per cent called for the bank holiday to take place in October, in line with the government’s proposals for a “Trafalgar Day” which would mark the Royal Navy’s victory on 21 October 1805.
The SME Business Omnibus shows that 42 per cent of SMEs will remain open on the May Day bank holiday this year.
‘Our research shows that public holidays, especially when they come so close to Easter, present many SMEs with the difficult decision of whether or not to stay open for business – moving the bank holiday to later in the year alleviates this problem,’ says Mark Speed, joint managing director of IFF Research.
The majority, or 68 per cent, of small businesses believe there are the correct number of bank holidays in the year, but 48 per cent admit that they cause workload problems.
Tags: Bank, Bank Holidays
The overall health of the commercial real estate market in Bexar County is improving as foreclosure-posting activity during the first five months of the year dropped 13 percent compared to the same period last year.
From January through May, total commercial foreclosure postings fell from 393 last year to 343 in 2011, according to a recent report from Foreclosure Listing Service Inc. This drop in foreclosures is a positive turnaround compared to the 17 percent increase recorded last year. And of the major markets reported in the study, Bexar County saw the sharpest decline, with the Austin and Dallas/Fort Worth areas recording a 6 percent and 3 percent drop in foreclosure listings, respectively.
“We expect the market to incrementally get better,” said Jack Duke, president of DH Realty Partners. “A big reason is that we’re seeing interest from prospects coming to San Antonio from other cities looking to get a foothold here.”
The largest dip in foreclosures occurred with land, which saw postings fall from 91 in 2010 to 59 this year, a 35 percent drop. While l
Tags: Bexar County, Commercial
Lexi-Comp Inc., a company based in Hudson that provides drug information and clinical content for pharmacists and clinicians, has agreed to be acquired.
The buyer is Philadelphia-based Wolters Kluwer Health, itself a provider of information and business intelligence for professionals, students and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy. Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a Dutch company that is a global information service concern.
“Wolters Kluwer Health has focused heavily on building a robust suite of clinical decision support solutions for point-of-care use by health care professionals, and our acquisition of Lexi-Comp is very much aligned with this strategy,” Arvind Subramanian, president and CEO of Wolters Kluwer Health Clinical Solutions, said in a statement.Wolters Kluwer Health did not say what it will pay for Lexi-Comp, a company with about 150 employees that provides drug information and medical reference content to more than 1,500 hospitals internationally and publishes drug monographs or descriptions of drug content and use covering more than 1,700 products.
Tags: Hudson, Wolters Kluwer
Recovery in the manufacturing sector looks set to continue, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Of the 451 manufacturers that responded to the lobbying group’s Quarterly Industrial Trends Survey, 36 per cent say they have seen an increase in output in the last three months, while 15 per cent say it has fallen, giving a rounded balance of +20 per cent.
The success is driven by strong growth in both domestic (+15 per cent) and export (+24 per cent) orders, with the rates of growth at their fastest since April 1995 (+17 per cent and +34 per cent respectively). Demand and production are expected to continue rising over the next three months. Companies predict that output growth will be sustained at a similar pace to this quarter (+22 per cent).
April has proven to be a dramatic month for bwin.party so far, and the rollercoaster continued yesterday as it slumped to the bottom of the mid-tier index. Declining 8.6p to 163.9p, the online gambling group was knocked back by sceptical comments over the chances of its being able to operate in the US.
The retreat was the latest in several important moves experienced by the product of the merger between PartyGaming and bwin, which began trading as a combined entity only at the end of March. Days after its debut, its share price slumped nearly 30 per cent in just two sessions, following the proposal of strict new regulations on gambling by German authorities.
Last Monday it managed to recover some of its losses by adding nearly 40p thanks to a crackdown in the US on poker sites in the country. The bust prompted hopes that it could mark the first step to online gambling being legalised and regulated in the States, which could provide a massive market for bwin.party.
It’s no surprise that buying from e-vendors such as Amazon has an advantage — no sales taxes are collected.
What consumers may not know is that state law still requires them to pay the state an occasional use tax, which is imposed on goods and services that are purchased for personal or business use, storage or consumption in Texas.
Enforcing the law is virtually impossible at the consumer level, and the state comptroller’s office ensures compliance only for businesses that make large out-of-state or online purchases.
“My suspicion is that most people probably aren’t aware of” the use tax requirement, said Alex Winslow, executive director of Texas Watch, an Austin-based consumer advocacy group.
Examples of items subject to use tax include purchases made over the Internet or over the telephone from an out-of-state vendor that does not collect sales tax. State law requires consumers to pay the tax and to report their purchases to the state comptroller.
Tags: Consumers Pay, Pay
The likelihood of small businesses creating jobs to drive economic growth is in jeopardy because fewer believe they will be able to employ new staff in the year ahead, a new survey suggests.
According to the latest quarterly Referendum research from the Forum of Private Business (FPB), more than a fifth of small business owners (22 per cent) expect to recruit in 2011 – but confidence that they will be able to do so is dwindling compared to December 2010, when almost 30 per cent of respondents said they planned to take on new staff.
While 14 per cent intend to simply recruit in the coming year, a further 8 per cent plan to hire but believe they will have to train new staff in the necessary skills their businesses require.
In addition, business owners surveyed by the FPB have identified a pressing need for external support and training for themselves and senior managers in a number of key areas, including finance, product development, employee engagement and sales and marketing.
FPB research manager Tom Parry says, ‘It is concerning that small business owners’ confidence in their ability to create jobs in the current economic climate and drive recovery is falling, and clearly there is still a pressing need to address barriers such as employment taxes and red tape, steep recruitment costs and skills issues.’
Tags: Job, Job Creation