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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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'Exceptionally strong' outlook for UK economy

The UK economy's growth prospects for the next three months are "exceptionally strong", according to the Confederation of British Industry.

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