Christmas is a busy time of the year, and particularly so for business owners. This article covers a few important considerations that will help you plan ahead and make this time of the year less stressful and much more enjoyable -just as it should be.
Christmas 2015: Important dates to keep in mind
This year, Christmas Day falls on a Friday and is considered a public holiday. Most UK businesses will be closed on the 25th and will reopen on Tuesday 29th December, as this year Boxing Day has been moved to Monday 28th December.
Other important dates to keep in mind are the Post Office’s recommended last posting dates. Letters and / or packages sent via 1st class mail within the UK should be posted by Monday 21st December if they are to arrive before Christmas Day. Items send via 2nd class mail should be posted by Saturday 19th December. The last posting dates for international mail or packages vary depending on the country of destination. Bear in mind that some destinations have a last posting date as early as 4th December.
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Bizwiki, the UK’s popular free business listing website, today announced that they have enhanced their coverage of British businesses with the addition of ‘PowerListings’ supplied by Yext, the global leader in Digital Location Management.
“Since its launch in 2007, Bizwiki has been dedicated to giving the public free access to detailed, useful information about businesses all over the United Kingdom, and we are pleased to be able to announce that this coverage will now be enhanced with additional information provided by Yext,” said director Matt Aird. “As a wiki-style site for companies, Bizwiki is changing the way online business information works by combining user-edited records and crowd-sourced detail with the power of advanced web-spiders and structured data.”
Bizwiki currently lists information for well over one million British businesses, organisations, charities and companies, all of which is made available for public access free of charge. This information includes vital contact details, website links, email addresses, location maps, messages from representatives of the companies themselves, links to associations and more.
“We currently provide information about a very wide range of British businesses, and this partnership with Yext will both increase the number of businesses in our directory and allow us to significantly expand the amount of rich content and level of detail displayed,” continued Matt Aird. “This includes features like image galleries, embedded videos and special offers provided directly by the business owners or managers. We believe this will be valuable to our site’s users, and be another step towards our goal of providing useful, high quality and comprehensive information about businesses in every area of the country.”
A 2015 study carried out by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research revealed that the UK is on its way to becoming the second largest economy in Europe, as key indicators including total GDP and purchasing power continue to rise. Moreover, economists at the Centre for Economic and Business Research have predicted that by 2028, the United Kingdom could rank among the world’s top three largest economies, ahead of giants like Germany and Japan. This level of economic growth is partly the result of a long-term development strategy that has been designed by the UK Department for Trade & Investment and implemented by the Regeneration Investment Organisation. Regeneration projects are a fundamental part of the UK’s growth and development strategy, and this article looks at the key projects that are currently underway in Central England.
Medi Park Nottingham
Medi Park Nottingham is an £100-million regeneration scheme that aims to turn the Midlands into a leading hub for advanced medical technologies. The project will focus on the creation of a science park that will expand the infrastructure and capabilities of the University of Nottingham and of Queen’s Medical Centre. Approximately 3.7 hectares of land will be turned into state-of-the-art commercial space, which will include 100,000 square feet of laboratory and business space in addition to 400,000 square feet of retail, hospitality, and leisure facilities. Companies that choose to base themselves at Medi Park will benefit from the area’s Enterprise Zone status, which translates into extensive business incentives and tax breaks. The project’s completion date is set to Q4 2023.
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Countless factors influence the success of a new start-up. When starting a business, location can be just as important as the type of service or product being sold. Cities provide different environments to help entrepreneurs and businesses succeed, as well as a range of supports. A state’s business environment including access to skills and business-friendly tax policies also play a major role. The following are just some of the best cities to start a business in the Western United States.
One of the best cities to start a new business is Chattanooga, Tennessee. The city places fourth on WalletHub’s 2015 list of the Best Cities to Start a Business, and ranked second in terms of access to essential resources for start-ups including skills, affordable office space, financing and other business supports. The study used 13 unique metrics that ranged from the average five-year survival rate of businesses and educational attainment of the available labor force to the affordability of office space and access to business financing. Access to high-speed broadband internet, business incubators, educated employees and government incentives helped make Chattanooga one of the best places for start-ups to succeed, according to WalletHub.
Chattanooga is Tennessee’s fourth largest city and is located in the state’s southeast. The city is strategically located close to major economic centers in the U.S South. It is within 120 miles (190 kilometres) of Atlanta and Knoxville, and is also within a day’s drive Nashville and Birmingham, Alabama. Chattanooga also sits close to three major interstates – I-25, I-75 and I-59. The city is the home of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and Chattanooga State Community College, and has a diverse economy that includes manufacturing and service industries. Several major companies have a presence in and around Chattanooga, including Amazon.com, DuPont, BASF, Norfolk Southern, Coca-Cola, and Volkswagen.
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Regeneration Projects: Central England
A 2015 study carried out by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research revealed that the UK is on its way to becoming the second largest economy in Europe, with key indicators including total GDP and purchasing power continue to rise. Moreover, economists at the Centre for Economic and Business Research have predicted that by 2028, the United Kingdom could rank among the world’s top three largest economies, ahead of giants like Germany and Japan. This level of economic growth is partly the result of a long-term development strategy that has been designed by the UK Department for Trade & Investment and implemented by the Regeneration Investment Organisation. Regeneration projects are a fundamental part of the UK’s growth and development strategy, and this article looks at some of the key projects that are currently underway in Central England.
Worcester Growth Corridor
In the near future, Worcester will offer world class investment opportunities thanks to the £300-million regeneration project known as the Worcester Growth Corridor. This initiative aims to redevelop nearly 300 hectares of space along the M5, creating opportunities for investment in commercial, residential, and mixed-use real estate. A total of 8 sites will be redeveloped, the first being the Worcester Technology Park, which will primarily provide first-class business accommodation to companies in the advanced manufacturing, clean technologies, and agri-food sectors.
Overall, it is expected that this project will help create more than 6,800 permanent jobs in the local area. This regeneration project will be carried out in various phases over a period of 15 years, and its estimated delivery date is Q4 2024.
Priors Hall Park, Corby
With a GDV of over £1,200 million, the Priors Hall Park project is one of the most ambitious regeneration projects currently taking place in Central England. The project covers an area of more than 500 hectares in Northamptonshire, and will result in the construction of over 5,000 sustainable homes and of commercial premises, including office and industrial space. This project capitalises on Corby’s strategic location, as the town offers access to 75 per cent of the country’s population with just a 2-hour drive.
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Mississippi’s capital and largest city, Jackson is also the largest economic center in the state. Home to major electrical equipment and machinery, processed food, and metal product industries, with numerous major companies based in the city including Ergon, Cal-Maine Foods and Trustmark.
Offering affordable business premises, excellent business services and easy access to financing, Jackson is one of the best places to do business in the United States. The city also provides businesses with excellent transportation links, including one of just two international airports in Mississippi. It is also at the cross-roads of major railway lines and interstate highways, including the I-20 and I-55. According to WalletHub’s 2015 list of best cities in the U.S. to start a business, Jackson ranks fifth out of 150 cities across the country. In the same national ranking, Jackson was fourth in terms of access to resources including office affordability, employee availability and financing accessibility. Mississippi also ranks high for doing business. The state ranked in the top 10 states for doing business, as well as sixth in terms of overall cost of doing business and third for competitive labor costs by the Area Development Magazine in 2014.
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Regeneration projects are designed to improve living standards, lifestyle opportunities, transport links and business investment in areas of London.
Current regeneration projects scheduled to begin between 2015 and 2018 are expected to boost the London economic outlook by providing jobs, business floorspace and improved public transport. Six key projects include:
Old Oak Common: located within the Park Royal Opportunity Area, Old Oak Common is in West London near Vauxhall Nine Elms, White City, Park Royal and Earls Court. With residential housing and business commercial spaces to secure, the site will benefit from a new transport super-hub station combining London Overground stations with HS2 and Cross-rail. Investors will be interested in the sale of the development upon completion and lettings income.
New Covent Garden Market, Nine Elms: 115,000 sq ft of commercial accommodation within this mixed-use development is designed to act as a gateway to the Battersea opportunity area. Property values (predicted to grow by 140 per cent) include commercial property next to the coveted Northern Line extension – vastly improving the speed and efficacy of transport links to central London. The development is due to start in late 2015, early 2016, and complete in 2017. With the nearby New Covent Garden Market trading fresh produce close by, this area is also expected to attract restaurant and hotel investment.
The Silvertown, Royal Docks – London: The Silvertown Partnership commercial building zone will be completed in 2018. Offering over 50 acres of commercial space the area is sure to be popular with businesses seeking purchase near the world-class Excel Centre, the London City Airport and The Royal Dock. The new Crossrail station (and links to HS2) for the Excel Centre will be a 5 minute walk away (when completed), making The Silvertown a choice business spot within the buzzing financial area comprising Canary Wharf and Greenwich. For larger investors, there is still the chance to become a major equity partner in this £1.8 billion pound development.
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Dallas, Texas is a well-known hub of business activity as the fourth most populous metropolitan area of the United States. This distinction has allowed Dallas to develop a wide range of industries to serve a far-reaching economy that is as healthy as it is diverse. While much of the credit for the growth of Dallas’ economy can be attributed to the businesses themselves, state and local governments also play a role in nurturing an environment of healthy business growth. In the end, Dallas is an excellent example of what can be done when business leaders and government leaders can work together toward a common goal.
Major Industries in Dallas
Some of the most successful companies in the Dallas metro area are in the technology, defense and financial industries. These three industries account for thousands of jobs in Dallas and have become a mainstay of the economic climate in the city.
On the technology front, telecommunications and IT services are very important to the economy of Dallas. The importance of IT services to economies can often be overlooked, but this is generally due to the small nature of most IT service providers. However, a number of international companies, such as Rackspace, have a major presence in the city and provide greatly to the business climate.
The defense industry often has aerospace and aviation lumped into it as these three industries are so acutely intertwined. These industries provide more than 150,000 jobs to the people of Dallas in over 1,300 companies. The large airport capacity, educated workforce and lenient laws regarding the classification on commercial space are often cited as a draw to companies in these industries. As a result of this growth, the average person working in these industries makes a little over $80,000 a year.
Anyone curious about how the financial industry gained so much power in Dallas need only look as far as the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. As one of only twelve district banks in the Federal Reserve system, Dallas has become a major player in financial markets throughout the country. This has led to the development of a strong financial sector in Dallas itself, with a growth of 11 percent in financial sector jobs since 2010. While the Federal Reserve itself is not responsible for this industry thriving as it does, it’s noted as a driving force in the identity and economic development of the area.
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During the past two decades, the Scottish economy has undergone an important transformation that has helped bring Scotland to the forefront of social and economic development. As Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh has played a crucial role in this transformation and is now recognised as one of the most prosperous cities in the United Kingdom. This is undoubtedly good news for entrepreneurs looking to set up a business in the Scottish capital.
The Scottish government has capitalised on Edinburgh’s potential to become an economic powerhouse, and the strategy has had excellent results. Currently, Edinburgh has a GDP per capita in excess of £49,000, a figure that is only surpassed by the GDP levels of the British capital. But the city’s strong economic growth levels are also in line with other key global players. A recent fDi Magazine survey listed Edinburgh as the third best-ranking city of the future in terms of business friendliness, quality of life, economic potential, and skills pool, placing the city ahead of major business hubs like Paris and Berlin.
The latest data set released by the local city council reveals that key economic indicators in the city have been following an upward trend for several consecutive quarters. This is the case of the city’s macro-economic environment (measured in terms of output per resident and currently set at £38,000 per person) and in the foreign direct investment rates, whose ongoing increase has created nearly 600 new jobs over the past 12 months. Business density in Edinburgh is another positive indicator, and at 93 companies per square kilometre, is among the UK’s highest. All these factors have had a positive impact on overall business confidence levels, which have been rising for three consecutive years and are nearly 28 per cent higher than in 2012.
Key industry sectors in Edinburgh
The 2014 Global Financial Centres Index listed the Scottish capital among the world’s best-rated cities for businesses in the banking, insurance, and finance sectors. There are approximately 35,000 people working in this industry all over the city, which is also home to 90 per cent of all fund managers in Scotland. Some prestigious financial companies that have chosen to be based in Edinburgh include JP Morgan Europe, Scottish Widows, Standard Life, AEGON, Bank of New York Mellon, Royal Bank of Scotland, and Quayle Munro.
The city is also a key European destination for companies in the life sciences sector, especially in areas like the Science Triangle and Edinburgh’s BioQuarter. IT, software development, and the creative sector are also experiencing constant growth.
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Los Angeles is one of the largest cities in the country and is known as the entertainment hub of California. While technology companies and the entertainment industry receive a large amount of well deserved of credit for bolstering the economy of Los Angeles, it’s important to note that these industries aren’t the only ones employing Angelinos. In fact, the largest industry in Los Angeles by far is the manufacturing industry, followed closely by steel fabrication and shipping. There are a lot of factors that contribute toward the constant growth and development of the myriad industries of Los Angeles.
Major Industries and Economic Drivers in Los Angeles
According to Forbes, the creative industries in Los Angeles account for around 1/6 of all the employment in the city. Manufacturing is perhaps the largest industry in the city, with jobs in the manufacturing sector accounting for over 500,000 manufacturing jobs in Los Angeles. Among the most commonly manufactured goods in Los Angeles are sheet metal, consumer electronics and aerospace technologies. Large tracts of land are set aside throughout the city that are either currently being used by manufacturing companies or set aside for industrial use.
In addition to the manufacturing and creative industries, shipping is a large industry in Los Angeles. The Port of Los Angeles is the largest commercial port in the United States, with more shipping going through that port than anywhere on either the Pacific or Atlantic coasts. Its proximity to major shipping lanes connecting to Japan and China have been a huge part of this growth, though there have also been a large number of government incentives developed to protect and nurture this industry.
Government Programs and Incentives for Business in Los Angeles
Integral to growing a thriving and robust economy are developing incentives that both draw business to the city and nurture its growth. Every aspect of the business generation chain from development to operations and growth have some form of government support scheme to gather support from. This means that new businesses can find help in land use, land development, zoning assistance, seed funding and even legal assistance. Also, tax breaks and tax incentives are a popular way to push growth throughout the greater Los Angeles metro area.
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