Business development

SMEs reluctant to borrow

High growth small and medium-sized enterprises are reluctant to seek finance from banks to fund growth, a study by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland has found.

SME skills gap widens

Nearly a third (29.9%) of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are concerned that skills shortages are impeding growth, according to research from the Federation of Small Businesses.

Fall in Scottish retail sales

Consumer spending in Scotland fell slightly in May 2014 as total sales figures dropped 0.2% compared to April 2014, according to the Scottish Retail Consortium.

Northern Ireland international trade scheme launched

A support scheme designed to help businesses in Northern Ireland trade internationally has been launched by the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce.

Public sector contract boost for Scottish SMEs

A training scheme to help Scottish SMEs and voluntary sector businesses bid for public sector contracts has been given a £360,000 funding boost, the Scottish Government has announced.

IT and digital support for SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises can now apply for IT and digital support worth up to £2,000, after the UK IT Association joined the Government’s Growth Voucher programme.

Service sector optimism increases

Businesses in the service sector want to take on more staff as optimism rises, according to research from the Confederation of British Industry.

1.4 million on zero-hours contracts

Around 1.4 million people are employed on zero-hours contracts, an Office for National Statistics study has suggested.

Retail jobs growth in Q1

The number of full-time jobs in the retail sector increased 1.8% in the first quarter of 2014, according to the British Retail Consortium.

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