The Small Business, Enterprise & Employment Act has received Royal Assent, and became law on 26 March this year.
The Act is designed to boost economic growth through the creation of small businesses, improving access to finance and putting an end to exclusivity clauses in zero hours contracts.
Business Secretary Vince Cable previously said: ‘Small businesses provide jobs for millions of people across the country and are driving the economic recovery. The Small Business Act will create the right environment for small businesses to continue to thrive by giving them greater access to finance to help them innovate and grow, and make it easier for them to export goods and services made in Britain.
‘The Bill’s measures also mean there is nowhere to hide for firms who do not play by the rules, whether by abusing zero hours contracts or not paying the minimum wage.’
A key feature of the Act is providing alternatives for SMEs who have had loan applications rejected. Should you apply for a loan with one of the 10 largest banks which is then denied, they are now required to refer the details of your business to an online finance platform. The intention of the platform is to offer you access to alternative options through other lenders.
The 10 banks who have been instructed to refer any denied applications are: RBS, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Santander, Clydesdale Bank, Yorkshire Bank, Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and Danske Bank. The change has been implemented to ensure that data held by these banks is distributed to other willing finance providers.
The scheme is being run by the British Business Bank, which is actively seeking alternative finance providers that would like to take part.
Chief Executive of the British Business Bank, Keith Morgan, said: ‘Small businesses will have a greater choice of provider and chance of securing finance, alternative finance providers will have access to a bigger market of potential clients, and the major banks will be able to offer an additional service to those they initially turn down.’
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Essential TAX Dates For May
1st May – Start of daily penalties for 2014 on-line Tax Return not yet filed. Additional penalties may apply for further delay.
3rd May – Submission date of P46 (Car) for quarter to 5 April.
31st May – Last day to issue 2014/15 P60s to employees.