Northern England’s economy has been transforming from its industrial roots to a more diversified business base. To attract investment and revitalise the region, several development projects are helping to add office space while renewing lands once used by industry for manufacturing and other activities.
Liverpool Waters is a 30-year regeneration project that will transform the city’s northern docks and include infrastructure improvements. It is within the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone, which also includes the peel International Trade Centre and the Wirral Waters redevelopment project. As part of the zone, businesses locating on the sprawling Liverpool Waters site will benefit from potential business rate discounts for five years. The new quarter in central Liverpool is also part of the £75-billion Atlantic Gateway, a massive project will create a 40-mile strategic corridor from the Port of Liverpool to Manchester.
Once completed in 2024-25, Liverpool Waters will create up to 7,500 temporary jobs and an estimated 33,000 permanent jobs according to the UK government’s Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO). With a value estimated at £5.5 billion, the site covers an area of 60 hectares and will feature a blend of commercial, hotel, leisure and mixed use spaces as well as residential development. The large scale project’s master plan calls for more than 3.4 million square feet of business space spread across 88 plots. Buildings will range from 21,500 square feet and allow for bespoke designs. The site will complement development at Princes Dock, which already offers more than 225,000 square feet of office space.
The Northgate Scheme
The Northgate Scheme in nearby Chester is another mixed use development project that will bring new commercial space to the region. The development is part of Chester’s One City Plan, a development strategy that sets out a long-term vision for the city. With a gross development value of more than £350 million, the project will play an important role in driving the city’s revitalisation efforts. It will also help boost the local economy thanks to new flexible retail units that will help attract new businesses to Chester. The Northgate Scheme will complement other improvements to the city’s infrastructure, including the development of a new Central Business Quarter adjacent to Chester’s rail station. Northgate will be an important new base for businesses in retail and commercial sectors. Plans call for an anchor department store and five major store units. The site will also accommodate up to 50 shop units and 20 food and beverage units once it is complete in 2019-20. Plans also include the construction of the new Chester Market Hall, a multiplex cinema, and a cultural centre with an 800-seat theatre, studio spaces, conference facilities and a library. Just steps from Chester Cathedral and Abbey Square, Northgate will also incorporate the Chester’s Town Hall and includes the existing Crowne Plaza hotel.
Media City UK
In Manchester, Media City UK will develop Salford Quays on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal. The 200-acre development has already seen more than £650 million in development over 36 acres. The second phase of the project will see an addition 110 acres developed, including an estimated 2.3 million square feet of office space. There will also be new residential units, a hotel, up to 87,000 square feet in retail space, and 27,000 square feet in leisure space. In total, four phases of development will span over 20 years.
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Founded in 1833, Springfield is home to more than 166,810 people. Along with nearby Branson, the surrounding metropolitan area has a population of nearly half a million. Known as the Queen City of the Ozarks, Springfield is Missouri’s third largest city and is a thriving regional economic hub. It ranks consistently as one of the top places to start a new business. A study ranking the U.S. cities by WalletHub in 2016 ranked Springfield as the eighth best city to start a business in the country, down slightly from its third place finish in 2015.
A number of factors contribute to making a city a great place to start a business. Variables range from affordable commercial properties and cost of living to easy access to resources like skills and financing. In terms of the cost of doing business, Springfield came on top in WalletHub’s 2016 ranking. Several state and city incentives also help new businesses in Springfield grow and succeed, including the City of Springfield’s Small Business Loan Program. The programme provides financing for business to buy and redevelop commercial properties. Loans also help businesses obtain working capital, inventory and equipment.
Businesses in Springfield benefit from easy access to essential resources needed to start a successful company, including skills, mentoring and financing. The city has a large talent pool thanks to three local universities – Missouri State University, Drury University and Evangel University. Universities offer new businesses a range of services and supports, including a seed capital fund and accelerator program based at Missouri State University’s eFactory. Drury University’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship also provides training for new entrepreneurs, while the Kauffman Foundation’s 1 Million Cups program offers start-ups opportunities to share their ideas with mentors and advisors.
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Government Start Up Grants
Government-funded start up grants are available to prospective business owners who are ordinarily resident in the UK. The levels of funding available vary, but often start at £4,000. Below is an overview of the main grant schemes available.
The Start Up Loans scheme
The Start Up Loans scheme is available to all UK residents aged 18 and above who require funding to set up a business. This is one of the most popular grant schemes available to UK-based entrepreneurs, and in 2015 alone it helped fund more than 13,000 companies. The scheme is administered by the Start Up Loans Company, although this is a government-backed programme that also receives support from The Business Bank. Funds are provided through unsecured loans, which have a maximum repayment term of 5 years. Loans cannot exceed £25,000 and interest rates are fixed at 6 per cent.
In addition to funding, the Start Up Loans scheme offers a support package that includes mentoring and a range of discounted business products, such as reduced PayPal rates, free website hosting, free business banking, free access to accounting software, and more. You can learn more about all the benefits available here.
Once the application is sent, prospective business owners will be matched to a delivery partner / business advisor, whose role is to offer support and advice when creating a business plan. This document will then be used by the Start Up Loans Company to evaluate whether funding will be granted or not. For detailed information, please visit the Start Up Loans scheme (www.startuploans.co.uk)
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Bizwiki, publishers of the popular national free business-listing website, are pleased to announce that the Bizwiki.com site is undergoing a major expansion.
While demonstrating the site, Bizwiki director Matt Aird said, “For the last few months we have been working on a major expansion of the content on the website. Combining submissions from our users with data collected by our webspider, we are now able to offer visitors more information about businesses and companies in the US than ever.”
The expanded Bizwiki.com website has broadened the content available to users to include enhanced information regarding over one million new businesses, and organized them into easily accessible categories.
Information about companies includes user-edited content, maps and directions, vital contact and address information, messages from the individual companies, text from site’s websites, important links, competitor links and online contact details, all provided free of charge to the site’s visitors in a new streamlined front-end design
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Graduates are increasingly selective when comes to applying for graduate schemes offered by businesses. These programs need to be attractive in order to attract top talent and be competitive with similar schemes at other companies. Your business and opportunities at your company also need to be properly promoted and advertised in order to attract high-potential talent.
Designing a Successful Graduate Scheme
When setting up a graduate scheme, you need to determine what type of individual you want for your business. This involves creating a profile of your ideal candidate that you can use for assessing applicants. Criteria should include an outline of the experience, skills and knowledge you need as well as requirements related to the type of person and character you want for your company. When designing the program, you also need to identify the prospects or path forward for individuals recruited under the graduate scheme. In order for a graduate scheme to be successful, participants should have access to longer-term employment. This ensures that the individuals you are developing stay with your company.
To design an effective graduate scheme, you need to get intelligence about what graduates what and need. One way to do this is to look within your company. Talk to employees about what they consider an ideal candidate for your graduate scheme. This will give you information about the skills and knowledge of individuals you should be recruiting. Also, talk to students and recent graduates at nearby colleges and universities. Organizing a focus group or doing a survey will help you find out what graduates are looking for and what they want to get out of a graduate scheme. This research will give you perspectives of students and graduates to inform the design of your program.
Promoting your company to university students and recent graduates is an important part of attracting high calibre talent. Having a dedicated section on your website for students and graduates is a great way to target information and make it easily accessible. The section should include profiles of recent graduates’ experience working with your company. This section can be enhanced with social media, including links to your company’s Snapchat or Instagram accounts where photos highlighting the experiences of graduates working for your company. Profiles should be fun and informative but also ‘sell’ your company as a rewarding place to work.
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Every year, nearly 200,000 students graduate with an advanced business degree from a US university. Despite the growing graduate numbers, the value of reputable business degrees continues to rise in a labor market that increasingly demands specialized knowledge and skills. Below is a list of the best-ranking business schools in the States.
Massachusetts-based Harvard is one of the world’s most prestigious business schools. This is reflected in the breadth and depth of its business programs, which include MBAs, DBAs, doctoral degrees, and executive education programs. In 2016, over 1,800 students enrolled in a business degree at Harvard. Graduates can expect to earn anything between $92,000 and $232,000 depending on their employer’s location, industry, and company size.
Stanford Graduate School of Business is repeatedly ranked as one of the world’s top-3 business schools. This institution is based in Palo Alto (California) and offers both traditional and accelerated business training programs in small classes of about 390 students each. Approximately 1,800 full-time students enroll every year. Stanford business graduates tend to receive solid job offers 90 days post-graduation (mostly in finance and technology firms) and median salaries are $130,000.
The Yale School of Management is located in New Haven, Connecticut, where it offers MBAs, Masters of Advanced Management, Doctoral programs, and joint degree courses to over 660 students every year (class size is under 280). Average base salaries post-graduation are $119,000 / year, and approximately 93% of students are employed within three months of graduating. Most Yale graduates take up roles in consulting, finance, accounting, and marketing.
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The UK’s 2016-2017 Budget was unveiled on 16 March. On the whole, British businesses welcomed the new measures outlined in this year’s Budget, as it was clear that the key changes were made in an attempt to stimulate the economy from bottom to top and to facilitate job creation while providing solid incentives for entrepreneurial activities nationwide. Approximately £24 billion have allocated to industry, agriculture, and employment, which have become top priorities given the crucial role that they play in driving economic growth in the country. This article provides an overview of how the new measures outlined in this year’s Budget will affect UK businesses.
UK Budget 2016: What large companies need to know
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How to introduce sustainable business practices in your organization
Sustainability involves considering environmental sustainability in all aspects of an organization’s operations. It also involves considering social sustainability and how an organization’s actions might affect the local community and people in general. Also known as environmental and social responsibility, considering sustainability of every business decision and activity may not be possible or feasible for some companies. At the same time, there are several ways to introduce sustainable business practices in your company or organization.
The Benefits of Being Sustainable
One of the main reasons to adopt sustainable business practices is the advantage it can give an organization. In many cases, sustainable practices lead to greater efficiency. This in turn can help reduce operating costs. Sustainable practices also attract and retain employees that want to work for an organization that encourages and embraces sustainable practices. They also attract new clients, customers, investors and other partners looking for environmentally and socially responsible organizations. In turn, being sustainable might encourage your partners, suppliers, clients and customers to also be more environmentally and socially responsible.
Ways to Make Operational Changes
An organization can become more environmentally and socially sustainable or responsible through operational changes. Part of this involves being a ‘good’ employer. This means being committed to your employees and how they feel about working for your organization. A good employer cares about how satisfied employees as well as their development and well-being. This might involve encouraging good work-life balance with, for example, flexible work arrangements and on-site fitness centres and childcare. It also involves promoting equality and fairness where there is no tolerance for workplace discrimination and harassment. Promoting a healthy and safe work environment for employees is a vital part of being a socially sustainable organization as well as a good employer.
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Small and medium-sized businesses are an important component of the UK’s industrial structure. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, their numbers have been growing steadily over the past two decades, reaching a record high of 5.4 million in early 2015. In recent years there has been a shift in the focus of business activity within the UK economy, whereby the country’s default organisational forms in the private sector gravitates towards SME’s.
However, and despite the obvious rise in the percentage of SMEs operating throughout the country, these businesses face major challenges when it comes to staying competitive in the long term. This is why one can never underestimate the importance of having a solid business model that is capable of bringing long-term value to your business.
A bullet-proof business model can help create and maintain value and define how a company will relate to its clients. This article offers some useful considerations regarding the best ways of future-proofing your SME business model.
Make It Innovative
In a recent study, researchers at the IESE Business School and at the University of Pennsylvania found that on the whole, novelty-driven business models yielded better results than efficiency, service, and cost-oriented models, in particular when innovation was specifically applied to business exchanges. Researchers also found that there still is room for improvement in the UK context, as the study referenced above revealed that only 25 per cent of interviewed firms could indeed be defined as innovation-driven.
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Companies that operate in the United States have a lot of dates to remember throughout the year. Federal deadlines are important in filing tax information, keeping up on employment notifications and making sure that self-employed individuals pay their estimated taxes each quarter. Missing a federal deadline could mean penalties, fines and possible tax consequences.
January 15, 2016
- All 1040-ES 2015 fourth quarter payments must be submitted
February 1, 2016
- People who chose not to pay their final 1040-ES payments on January 15, 2016 can file their full returns and not sustain a penalty
- Businesses must issue all 1099 forms
- Farm employers must file form 943 for Social Security and Medicare filings
- All employers must file form 940 for 2015 unemployment taxes
- Form 720 for fourth quarter of 2015 must be filed
- Companies must file form 2290 for any vehicles that were first utilized in December 2015
February 16, 2016
- Employees must file income tax exemption forms with employers
February 29, 2016
- Businesses must file information returns for payments made in 2015
- Form 1096 for payment of gambling winnings and copy A of form W-2G must be filed
- All employers must file their W-3 and copy A forms for each W-2 issued in 2015
- Large food and beverage employers must file form 8027 regarding tip income
- Form 730 required for all wagers placed in January
- Form 2290 required for all vehicles first put into service in January
March 15, 2016
- All corporations must file a form 1120 for their annual return
- Partnerships must distribute K-1 forms to all partners
March 31, 2016
- All forms 1097, 1098, 1099, 3921, 3922 and W2-G must be filed electronically
- Employers must file all W-2 forms electronically
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