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Top Cities for Business: London


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London has been the top financial, business and cultural centre for almost fifty years and has been the birthplace of business practices that contribute to economic development worldwide.

London is a global financial centre
London hosts the headquarters of 68 companies on the 2014 Forbes Global 2000 list,  in addition to being ranked first on the 2012 Globalization and World Cities (GAWC) Index that measures the power of global cities in terms of international business, sustainability, urban policy, and logistics.  According to a Centre for Cities report published in 2013, in terms of business innovation and expansion, London outperformed many European rivals, while the number of new business startups places the UK capital in high regard worldwide.

London has a prominent tech scene
London’s tech scene has demonstrated a steady growth over the past decade as a result of governmental support and venture capital increases. The UK government has a number of schemes including the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) which aim to attract major tech companies in London. The East London area around Old Street, known as “Silicon Roundabout”, follows the government’s aggressive promotion of London as a tech hub, where more than 3,000 tech start-ups considered the UK capital as the perfect spot to establish their businesses. London has been transformed into the fastest growing European tech cluster with the advantages of an early adopter city, with some of Silicon Valley’s start-ups and giants choosing to open headquarters within the city.  Google’s largest office outside the Valley is situated in London and Facebook has its largest European office in London.



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Top Cities for Business: New York


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As the world’s undisputed financial and commercial hub, New York is considered a prestigious location for businesses in all industry areas. Companies large and small choose to be base their businesses in this thriving US city, which serves as a springboard for further expansion. This article takes a look at some key figures that demonstrate how New York is a top choice for business and startups.

Economic overview

New York’s prosperous economy is characterised by its focus on diversity and innovation. This global business city has a healthy balance between public and private sector jobs and between small, medium, and large-sized companies. In 2015, the state’s GDP was estimated at $1.3 billion.

According to the Economist, New York ranks first in terms of its Global Competitiveness Index, and commercial think-tank Z/Yen lists the city as the number one global financial centre. A United Nations report shows that New York is second in the global prosperity index ratings, whereas the NYCEDC reports that the city’s innovation index is marked by a constant upward trend in six key areas: finance, R&D, human capital, intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and high-tech gross product. Federal Reserve data shows that job growth is slightly below the national average, although still well within an acceptable range at 1.8 per cent. As of March 2015, the local unemployment rate was 5.7 per cent.

Major industries

According to the latest data set released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most important industry sectors across the state of New York are education and health services, finance, trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, the public sector, leisure and hospitality.



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The Importance of Health and Safety in the Workplace


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April 28th, the World Day for Safety and Health at Work, is an International Labour Organisation-recognised day to promote safe and healthy work environments, as well as day to remember casualties of workplace accidents around the world.

Businesses are responsible for the health and safety of their employees, including self-employed people. Health and safety laws protect employees as well as members of the public from workplace hazards. The first step is to select someone with the skills and experience necessary to help manage health and safety. Owners of smaller businesses and owner-operated businesses can general appointed a person themselves. For larger companies, a health and safety expert may be needed.

A written policy will provide information on how health and safety will be managed in the business. A policy lets employees and other people know about your commitment to health and safety, and what procedures are in place. Any business with five or more employees must have a written risk assessment or policy. Smaller businesses with less than five workers do not have to meet this requirement. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has templates to help businesses develop a risk assessment and policy. A risk assessment to determine potential and existing dangers in the workplace will help inform the policy.



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Intellectual Property Day


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Intellectual Property Day, held annually on the 26th of April by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), is an awareness day that businesses all over the world wholeheartedly support. The idea of intellectual property, which is often shortened to IP, includes the ideas and creations that corporations offer which are very difficult to protect.

The best way to understand the importance of protecting Intellectual Property is to take a closer look at its component parts, and identify the challenges that go along with protecting the ideas and abstract creations of corporations all over the world.

Copyrights

Copyrights are complicated because they attempt to protect an expression and not an idea. Copyrights can work together with trademarks to protect a company’s IP, but there are different laws around the world that can make the process of getting a copyright and trademark extremely difficult and expensive.

Copyrights are primarily used as ways to protect artistic expressions such as music, writings, paintings, sculpture, advertising slogans, computer programs, and dance choreography. The idea behind the creation of these works, if it was possible to protect the idea, would usually fall under a patent.

Copyrights can either be economic or moral. An economic copyright states that the creator can derive an income from their creation, while moral copyrights allow a creator to have final say over any changes to their creations. Most copyrights are economic and are used widely in the corporate world.



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Protecting Intellectual Property by Increasing Awareness


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The 26th of April is World Intellectual Property Day, an opportunity to bring about increased awareness and understanding of intellectual property issues.

From copyrights to patents, intellectual property is all around us. Each day, intellectual property affects businesses operations and the work of employees. Knowing how to create and use intellectual property is an essential skillset, especially in sectors and businesses where innovation is a key determinate of growth and success. Promoting awareness about copyright, patents, trademarks, designs and other intellectual property issues protects your own business as well as the innovation of others. It may also be advisable to get professional advice from a solicitor who specialises in intellectual property and copyright law.

There are a range of activities that help promote intellectual property issues, not only during World Intellectual Property Day. Outreach can be as simple as sharing information with staff, including booklets and guides produced by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). The WIPO also produces posters, postcards, bookmarks and other promotional material that can be downloaded and printed. The Intellectual Property Office is another source of information about intellectual property issues in the UK.



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Top Cities for Business: Birmingham


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As the second most populous city in the United Kingdom, Birmingham is a major economic powerhouse and centre for industry. Once known for being the manufacturing capital of the world, Birmingham is now a vibrant and prosperous city that attracts business owners and investors from the UK and beyond. Today, this West Midlands city is firmly committed to supporting economic growth and to promoting ongoing business development. In this article we look at the main facts and figures that demonstrate that Birmingham is one of the top destinations for businesses and startups.

Birmingham’s economy: an overview

According to a report published by Global Metro Monitor in 2014, Birmingham is among the world’s top cities with the highest GDP per capita levels, with Birmingham’s wider metropolitan economy boasting the the second largest GDP output in the UK, estimated at £68 billion. Birmingham has implemented a successful economic policy that has proven effective in terms of fostering growth and innovation, and this is mainly evident in its designated enterprise zones, which are expected to create 50,000 jobs and inject £1.5 billion into the local economy.

But Birmingham also has an outstanding reputation for fostering economic growth in the international arena. In 2012, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network listed this UK city as a Beta World City, along with important metropolitan economies like Geneva, Abu Dhabi, and Stuttgart. Nearly 30,000 companies are based in the city of Birmingham, including 900 international firms such as Deloitte, Kraft, Jaguar, JCB, and Land Rover.

With all this in mind, it is hardly surprising that Birmingham has been voted as one of the most dynamic metropolis in Europe and been listed as having one of the best business environments in the continent.



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Registering your Business in the UK


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Setting up a new business is an exciting process. For entrepreneurs dreaming of selling a new product or providing an innovative service, there are several steps they must take in order to lawfully register their business.

When setting a business, owners must first choose the structure of their new company. The structure of the company will affect how the business is registered and how it operates. Businesses are generally categorised as a sole trader, a limited company, or a business partnership. Sole traders are self-employed owners, while limited companies must have a registered office and at least one director in the UK. A business partnership is where partners share responsibility for running a company.

To register a business in the UK, a sole trader who is the only owner of the company and either works alone or employs staff must register for self-assessment tax with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). This means the owner or his/her accountant will calculate the applicable tax. Sole traders must have a National Insurance (NI) number. Sole traders can trade under their own name or choose a business name.



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U.S. Has Most Middle Market Companies on a Global Comparison


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In a 2015 financial report that was compiled by Oxford Economics for HSBC, it was revealed that the United States has the largest number of middle market businesses at 55,700. Those middle market businesses contribute $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy, which is 13 percent of the United States output. The report considers middle market businesses to be businesses that generate at least $50 million in revenue each year, but no more than $500 million.

One of the figures that was interesting to note in the report was that American middle market businesses are responsible for 16.5 million jobs, which makes up 13 percent of all U.S. employment. By way of comparison, the Chinese economy has the second largest amount of middle market businesses at 40,200, but those businesses employ 74 million people, which makes up nearly 12 percent of all Chinese employment. When it comes to the number of people employed by middle market companies, China stands out as the country with the most middle market employees.

A breakdown of the numbers shows that the retail and wholesale industries in the United States offer the largest segment of employment for middle markets, closely followed by the manufacturing and services industries. But the retail, wholesale, and manufacturing industries combined do not offer as much economic input into the U.S. economy as the business services sector. Of the $1.7 trillion contributed to the U.S. economy by middle market companies in the U.S., $1.1 trillion is generated by the business services sector. This includes financial sales, banking, and financial services companies.



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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination


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Throughout history, noted people such as Martin Luther King and Kofi Annan have spoken out against racial discrimination and have highlighted the need for people to work together to bring about true equality. There are many ways that people can be categorized and, in some respects, categorizing people is necessary. For example, medical studies are only effective when people are separated based on criteria that serves the study. But when people are separated in the workplace based on the color of their skin, then that is a situation that needs to be addressed.

Elimination of Racial Discrimination Day was created to highlight the advances that have been made in creating racial equality in the workplace and to point out the work that still needs to be done. As more companies and people join together to explore ways to eliminate racial discrimination in the workplace, it becomes possible to develop a sense of equality that is beneficial to everyone.

Statistics On Racial Discrimination In The Workplace

One of the ways to examine how prevalent racial discrimination is in the workplace is to look at some statistics regarding charges of discrimination. According to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there were 45,395 reported cases of racial discrimination in the United States workplace between 2011 and 2014. That makes racial discrimination the most common type of workplace discrimination reported in the country.



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The Importance of Equality in the Workplace


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International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination is an opportunity for businesses to promote more inclusive workplaces and practices. On the 21st of March employers can play an important role in eliminating racial discrimination, racism and other intolerance in society.

Racism in the UK continues to be a reality for many people. According to NatCen’s 2014 British Social Attitudes (BSA) Survey, the number or people who consider themselves to be prejudiced against other races has generally been on the rise since 2001. Approximately three per cent of survey respondents described themselves as very prejudiced, while 27 per cent said they were a little prejudiced.

Racial discrimination involves the unfair treatment of others because of their race or the race of someone they are connected with, such as a parent or partner. In addition to colour, race includes citizenship or nationality and ethnic or national origin. The Equality Act 2010 outlines when discrimination based on race is against the law and provides protections against discrimination. Racial discrimination is illegal in many aspects in daily life, including in education and housing settings. Discrimination based on race is also illegal when public authorities carry out their activities and when a business provides goods and services. For example, a business cannot refuse to provide someone with goods, services or facilities based on race or provide these things on terms or conditions that are less favourable than what is provided to people of other backgrounds.



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