Finance

Finance News

Barriers to accessing capital ‘stalling UK business growth’

Against a backdrop of lending to SMEs dropping for a third straight year, medium-sized businesses are facing difficulty securing the capital they need to make the ‘leap’ to large, according to a new report from advisory and accountancy firm Menzies.

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Finance News

Half of Brits fear a fall in standard of living

Nearly half (46%) of UK adults are worried that their standard of living will fall over the next 12 months, reveals research conducted on behalf of Handelsbanken Wealth & Asset Management.

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Finance News

More firms are choosing accountancy outsourcing

Figures from AdvanceTrack show an “enormous” rise in firms choosing to outsource their accounting services, with a near 40% increase in global spend and a 20% surge in interest over the last five years.

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Finance News

Survey finds UK tax policies stifling business growth and innovation

UK tax policies are restricting business growth and innovation, according to new research by accountancy and advisory firm Azets, which has offices in Surrey and Kent.

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Finance News

Start Up Loans provides more than £10m of finance to 18-24-year-old South East entrepreneurs

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, today announces that it has provided more than £100m worth of funding to business owners aged between 18-24 years old, equating to more than 15,000 loans since the programme launched in 2012. From that national total, more than £10m of funding has gone to 1,291 Gen Z businesses in the South East.

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Finance News

Value of venture capital investment in South East soared to £758m in Q3

The value of venture capital (VC) investment in South East businesses rose by more than half (52%) in Q3 of 2023, according to KPMG’s latest Venture Pulse report, compiled by PitchBook.

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Finance News

Businesses in the South East report largest decrease in turnover

Data gathered by price comparison and financial guidance platform Forbes Advisor reveals that over a quarter (27%) of businesses trading in the UK reported lower turnover in August 2023 compared with July 2023.

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Finance

Start Up Loans hits £1bn milestone of loans to UK small businesses

Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, has delivered more than £1bn of loans since its inception in 2012. The loans have been issued to 105,109 businesses, at an average of £9,547 per business. Of those loans, the South East has received more than £110m in 10,639 loans across the region. The average […]

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Finance

Salary freezes and restructures rife amongst South East mid-market as high rates bite

New research from Grant Thornton UK LLP’s Business Outlook Tracker finds that rising interest rates and high costs have pushed many South East businesses to review their spending, freeze pay increases and restructure their operations in a bid to manage their finances. The survey of 54 South East mid-sized businesses finds that 56% have already […]

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Finance

Opus Business Advisory Group warns of ‘sharply deteriorating’ retail sector finances

Research by Opus Business Advisory Group has shown that the overall financial health of the UK’s retail sector has dropped by 10% in just the past 10 months alone. This comes as the Insolvency Service confirmed that retail insolvencies in the first half of 2023 were 61% higher than the last comparable period, the first […]

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Finance

Business confidence highest in half a decade

Business confidence in the South East rose 17 points during August to 47% – its highest level in the region since January 2018 – according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Companies in the South East reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month, up three points at 48%. When […]

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Finance

Misconceptions about accountancy ‘creating barriers’ for next generation of talent

New research from Grant Thornton UK LLP shows that many young people have misconceptions about careers in accountancy, which may be creating unnecessary barriers and preventing them from seeing it as an attainable option, limiting the potential future talent pool of the profession. In the research, the leading accountancy firm explores Generation Z’s view of […]

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Finance

Summer economy worth £379 million to Brighton

Ahead of the last bank holiday of the year, new research from Three Business reveals the huge contribution that the summer economy makes to Brighton. The research shows coastal SMEs in Brighton contribute £379 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the local economy and are part of the wider summer economy, worth £3.15bn in […]

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Finance

kff invests £3m in Aylesford site as demand grows

Aylesford-based regional wholesaler kff has invested more than £3 million in its operations as the company enjoys a 50% post-pandemic boom in sales. As well as spending in its site and transport, kff has also invested in its digital platforms, updating its website with a fresh design, increasing customer ordering functionality and showcasing its refreshed […]

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Finance Legal

Three times as many South East homes could be burdened by inheritance tax freeze

A house bought in the South East in 2022 is three times more likely to result in families being hit by inheritance tax than in 2009 when the levy was first frozen at £325,000, research by law firm Mayo Wynne Baxter has revealed. Analysis of the Land Registry’s price paid data shows that in 2009, […]

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Finance

South East output falls marginally and charge inflation continues its descent

Economic growth across the South East stalled in July, according to NatWest PMI data, as firms responded to lower intakes of new business by trimming output. Input cost inflation ticked higher, but prices charged for goods and services rose at the slowest rate in just under two years. Encouragingly, job creation continued and firms were […]

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Finance

Carpenter Box supports EOT of RJ Power Group of companies

Carpenter Box’s corporate finance and tax teams have supported the Sevenoaks-based RJ Power Group of companies in a multi-million-pound transaction that transfers ownership of 70% of the business to employees. Carpenter Box, a leading provider of accounting and advisory services across Sussex and the South East, provided tax advice both to create a group structure […]

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Finance

Recipients of Royal Tunbridge Wells Together BID’s Attractions Grants announced

Royal Tunbridge Wells Together Business Improvement District (BID), which is funded by the local business community, has announced the five recipients of its new Attractions Grant fund. Following the roll-out of the Events and Markets Support Grants, the Attractions Grant scheme was launched to support both established and new all-year-round venues. The five grants offered […]

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Finance

Overseas investment delivers jobs and opportunities for the South East

The past 12 months have created over 4,000 jobs for the South East of England from companies investing in the region from overseas, including 21 projects that will directly benefit Kent and Medway. Statistics collated by the government’s Department for Business & Trade reveal the level of foreign direct investment (FDI) investment into the UK […]

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Finance

Kent telecommunication comparison company secures funding for MBO

Independent funder Bibby Financial Services (BFS) has supported major telecommunications comparison company Comparison Technologies with a multi-million-pound funding line to facilitate a management buyout (MBO). Headquartered in Maidstone, Kent, Comparison Technologies is a leading independent comparison, switching and customer acquisition platform in the UK. It delivers 300,000 customers and over £250 million lifetime value annually […]

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Finance

UK cost of living sees side hustles soar

As inflation drives up the cost of everyday necessities, many Brits are searching for ways to supplement their incomes. According to research from money.co.uk, almost a third of workers (31%) already have a ‘side hustle’ while a further 42% are considering taking one up. Money.co.uk business loans investigated how many Brits have turned to side hustles […]

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Finance

South East businesses set their sights on India for international expansion

As negotiations around a UK-India Free Trade Agreement draw closer to completion, new research from Grant Thornton UK LLP’s Business Outlook Tracker finds that India is a core focus international growth market for the South East’s mid-market. The Business Outlook Tracker, which surveyed mid-sized businesses in the South East, finds that almost one third (32%) […]

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Finance

Kent’s Brands Hatch Performance expands operations

Leading automotive distributor, supplier and manufacturer Brands Hatch Performance (BHP) has expanded the range of facilities and products available to customers after securing an invoice and asset financing facility from Paragon Bank. Based close to Kent’s world-famous racing circuit, the family-run business can now provide customers with both bespoke, in-house manufacturing and credit line facilities. […]

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Finance

Two in five SMEs had to stop or pause business because of lack of finance

According to new research commissioned by Manx Financial Group, two in five (40%) SMEs have had to stop or pause an area of their business because of a lack of finance over the last couple of years – a significant increase from 27% of SMEs recorded in last year’s survey. The research showed that the […]

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Finance

Lloyds Business Barometer: Business confidence in the South East continues to climb

Business confidence in the South East increased for the second consecutive month, rising two points during the beginning of June to 32%, according to the latest Business Barometer from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. Companies in the South East reported higher confidence in their own business prospects month-on-month – up 12 points at 45%. When taken […]

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Finance

Grants of £100,000 available to Newhaven businesses

Businesses in Newhaven and the wider Sussex region are being invited to bid for grants of up to £100,000 from Newhaven Enterprise Zone (NEZ) as part of ambitious plans for economic growth in the region. The NEZ’s Transforming Newhaven Fund is designed to support businesses with projects that deliver regeneration in the town, create jobs […]

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Finance

Reward achieves landmark £200m lending milestone

Reward Finance Group has cemented its twelfth year of continuous growth by breaking through the £200 million loan book milestone for the first time. Reward, which supplies SMEs with tailored business finance loans and asset-based solutions of between £50k and £5m, is marking the landmark by donating £2,000 to reforestation company Tomorrow’s Forests in line […]

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Finance

South East third best region in England for Foreign Direct Investment outside of London

The South East of England has maintained its position in the top three best-performing regions in England for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects outside of London, despite a fall in project numbers, according to the EY 2023 UK Attractiveness Survey. The South East of England has maintained its position in the top three best-performing regions […]

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Finance

Sales and output rise further as price pressures recede, according to NatWest PMI

South East companies signalled a desirable combination of receding price pressures and sustained economic growth in May, NatWest PMI data showed. Despite falling from 55.0 in April to 54.6, the headline NatWest South East PMI Business Activity Index — a seasonally adjusted index that measures the month-on-month change in the combined output of the region’s […]

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Finance

International recruitment scheme bolsters Azets’ audit team

Accountancy firm Azets, with offices in Surrey, has bolstered its audit team in the South with the appointment of 33 permanent audit seniors from across Africa under a new international recruitment scheme. Azets has partnered with GAP Talent, the international recruitment specialist, to deliver the scheme, which has welcomed 33 newly qualified accountants from South […]

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Finance

Over two-fifths of UK hospitality businesses operating at a loss

New research from Peckwater Brands has found that over two-fifths of the UK’s hospitality businesses are operating at a loss, with the vast majority eyeing price increases during the next year. Peckwater Brands, Europe’s largest virtual food brand operator, commissioned an independent survey of 250 decision-makers in senior management positions within UK hospitality businesses (restaurants, […]

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Finance

Resilient businesses adapt strategies for growth, says HSBC

A third (36%) of UK businesses plan to adapt their strategies to navigate financial challenges over the next six months, new research from HSBC UK reveals. The findings demonstrate how resilient UK businesses are, with 29% stating that they had to adapt their business strategy over the past five years to survive. 12% said this […]

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