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This Week in Business

This Week in Business

The government announced this week the introduction of a relief fund to help small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) who are hit by steep rises in their business rates following the business rates review.

This could have important implications for your business- find out more about the rates review and the kind of support on offer by reading our blog post.

A mixed bag for retailers

More and more consumers are turning away from the big retailers and looking towards independent businesses for their shopping needs, according to new research. The survey shows that 80% of consumers are opting to use small businesses over larger businesses this year, citing convenience and loyalty to independent retailers as key factors in this decision. Quality of customer service is also a powerful driver, with over half of those surveyed believing that the service on offer in independent businesses is more personal.

Whilst brand loyalty seems to be important to consumers, this can’t always be relied upon, and building your business’s brand is crucial to keeping customers coming back. Our free training on branding can help your business build its customer base.

At the same time, it’s bad news for high street retailers, who saw their sales decline to the benefit of online retailers during the first three months of 2017. Figures from the ONS show that retail sales fell 1.4 per cent in the first three months of 2017, which represents the third quarter in a row where sales have fallen. Meanwhile, the number of purchases made online increased by almost one fifth.

Building on success

SMMEs in construction have been kept busy over the past months, according to the Federation of Master Builders. Despite market uncertainty and gloomy trends for the sector as a whole, bosses are expecting a rise in activity, and small firms haven’t yet seen a drop-off in demand.

However, around six in ten firms are also reporting that they are struggling to recruit enough new workers to sustain this growth, particularly in carpentry. To ensure this momentum is kept up, SMMEs need to rethink their training and recruitment strategies to figure out how they can continue to attract talent. The bespoke support on offer in the Building Legacies programme can help your business to do this: if you have any questions or would like further information about the range of support on offer, please contact Danny on danny.hackett@elbp.co.uk or call the office on 020 7537 6480.

 

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