Bizwiki Blog

How will the 2016 Budget affect UK Businesses?


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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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Sustainable Business Practices


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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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Future Proofing your Business Model – Small and Medium Sized Business in UK


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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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Key Dates for Companies and Businesses in the USA – Federal Requirements and Deadlines for 2016


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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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Regeneration Projects: London


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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 2016 and 2018 are expected to boost the London economic outlook by providing jobs, business floorspace and improved public transport.

Six key regeneration 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 bound 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.

Alexandra Palace – For smaller investors the iconic Alexandra Palace is in need of regeneration and requires around 50% of the building funding to restore the Palace to commercial glory, once again. For approximately £100 million this Grade II listed property, originally opened in 1873, is to be converted into a four storey hotel. Famous for the south-westerly views which take in almost all of London, the hotel is expected to attract top clientele, providing an excellent, regular turnover. For a chance to own the ‘People’s Palace’ and a slice of history, a small investor might see this regeneration project as a worthwhile investment.



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What Businesses in the US Need To Know About Preparing For the Holidays


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The Holiday season is often the busiest time of year for a lot of businesses. From shipping deadlines to taxable and non-taxable gift guidelines, there is a lot of  things to bear in mind to ensure that your business is ready for the Holidays.

Christmas 2015: Dates and Deadlines for US Businesses

Official Holiday Dates

In 2015, Christmas Day will be Friday, December 25th. The vast majority of businesses (with the exception of restaurant chains and some convenience stores) will be closed on Christmas Day, and many will operate a reduced schedule on Christmas Eve too. Banks will be closed across the United States, and some financial institutions will also close early on December 24th.

Holiday Shipping Deadlines

Every year, the United States Postal Service publishes its Holiday posting and shipping deadlines. Domestic letters and parcels sent via Standard Post service must be posted by December 15th if they are to arrive on December 24th at the latest. Letters and parcels sent within the United States using First Class mail service must be posted by December 19th. Domestic items sent via Priority Mail should be on their way by December 21st, whereas letters and parcels sent to US addresses using Priority Mail Express can be posted as late as December 23rd.

The following deadlines apply to items sent to military or diplomatic addresses:

  • November 7th for items sent via Standard Post
  • November 25th for items sent via Space Available Mail
  • December 3rd for items sent via Parcel Airlift Mail
  • December 10th for items sent via Priority Mail and First Class Mail
  • December 17th for items sent via Priority Mail Express – Military service

The deadlines for letters and parcels addressed to international destinations vary from country to country, with last shipping dates ranging between December 1st for First Class International mail to December 21st for items sent via Global Express Guaranteed. For a full list of international destinations and their applicable deadlines, please visit the USPS site at https://www.usps.com/holiday.



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What Businesses in the UK Need To Know About Preparing For Christmas


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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 Enhances Coverage of UK Businesses with Yext PowerListings


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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.”



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Regeneration Projects: Central England


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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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Top Cities to Start a Business: Chattanooga, Tennessee


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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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