British Safety Council offers free wellbeing support to SMEs and micro employers

British Safety Council offers free wellbeing support to SMEs and micro employers

British Safety Council has re-opened its offer to SMEs and micro-sized employers to apply to attend a free 3-hour workshop to help them develop a wellbeing strategy.

In the face of pressures following Covid and in light of the current economic challenges, the health, safety and wellbeing charity has said that micro, small, and medium-sized employers can apply to get free support to improve the wellbeing of their workplace, through its campaign on workplace wellbeing, Keep Thriving.

Applications are currently open until 1 March.

The sessions, delivered by experts from British Safety Council’s Being Well Together programme, help employers explore why wellbeing matters to them, their people and their business, and ways they can improve their wellbeing. The workshop helps small, medium, and micro-sized employers to develop a strategy which works and to track and evaluate their progress.

On the re-opening of the charitable offer, Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of British Safety Council, said:

“We have been delighted with the response so far by SMEs and micro-sized employers to our offer of free support to improve the wellbeing of their staff. That’s why we are re-launching to new applications and creating more places to attend one of our workshops … Read More

Non-bank lender White Oak pledges to lend £500M to UK SME’s in 2023

Non-bank lender White Oak pledges to lend £500M to UK SME’s in 2023

White Oak UK, one of the UK’s leading non-bank lenders, has pledged to provide £500m to UK SMEs and mid-corporates in 2023, as it continues to support the growth plans of small and medium sized firms across the UK.

The pledge follows the firm delivering a record £465m of funding in 2022; businesses in London and the South East had the greatest demand for funding, closely followed by the North of England and Scotland.

White Oak supports businesses with a range of funding products to suit their financing needs. Tax lending – including VAT finance – assisted 1,300 clients with the spread of the cost of their tax bill over 12 months and reached a value of £200m over the year, with the firm able to approve 90% of professional customers who applied for loans. Asset based lending meanwhile reached £175m, accounting for 40% of total White Oak loans. The firm is looking to target tax lending of £225m and asset based lending of £200m through 2023.

White Oak data from 2022 shows that the professional services sector saw the largest funding allocation, reaching a total of £110m, which equates to 25% of White Oak’s lending book for the year, … Read More

Shortfall of 330,000 workers in UK due to Brexit, say thinktanks

Shortfall of 330,000 workers in UK due to Brexit, say thinktanks

Brexit has led to a shortfall of 330,000 people in the UK labour force, mostly in the low-skilled economy, a report by leading researchers has found.

The departure from the EU in 2020 led to an increase in immigration from non-EU countries, but not enough to compensate for the loss of workers from neighbouring countries, according to the joint findings of the thinktanks Centre for European Reform (CER) and UK in a Changing Europe.

Their calculations took account of recent Office for National Statistics figures that showed an overall reduction in net immigration of 540,000 to June 2022.

However, to assess the impact of Brexit within than decline, the report also used the ONS annual population survey to help model what the UK workforce would have looked like had freedom of movement not come to end and British immigration laws remained the same.

The post-Brexit points system immigration system has, by design, made it more difficult for those without qualifications to move to the UK to work. The system came into force in January 2021 and by June 2022 there was a shortfall of 460,000 EU workers, the research found.

The arrival of 130,000 non-EU workers cushioned the blow but … Read More

Inflation eases slightly due to cheaper fuel and clothes, official figures show

Inflation eases slightly due to cheaper fuel and clothes, official figures show

The rate of inflation eased to 10.5%, according to official figures – down from 10.7% in November.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the reduced cost of motor fuels led to the decline in the core consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation along with cheaper clothing and footwear, and recreation and culture.

Pushing inflation up, the ONS added, were higher prices in restaurants and hotels, food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Today’s announcement is the latest signal that the UK might have seen the worst of inflation. The number is down from a 41-year high of 11.1% recorded in October.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected a rate of 10.5% for the year up to December 2022.

Prices had been rising steadily since late 2021, when supply chain problems linked to COVID lockdowns and worker shortages meant demand for goods could not be met.

The problem was exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, when countries scrambled to find other energy sources and reduce their use of Russian gas, pushing up the cost of energy and all other goods that require energy input, as a result.

The slow decrease in inflation is not good news for borrowers, as the Bank of … Read More

Family-owned sports seating firm secures £100k green loan package with NatWest

Family-owned sports seating firm secures £100k green loan package with NatWest

A Telford firm that manufactures and supplies high-spec seating for motorsports and stadiums around the world is looking ahead to a greener future and cheaper energy bills thanks to a tailored financing package from NatWest.

Family-owned Cobra Seats started out in 1978 and has grown its offer to supply innovative, bespoke seating to a growing global market, manufacturing motorsports seating for the North American, Japanese and Australian markets, as well as supplying dug out seats to the Premier League, all from its base in Shropshire.

Faced with rising energy bills and a desire to improve the firm’s carbon footprint, Cobra managing director Mark Dunsford decided to explore alternative fuel options for his business and now, thanks to a green loan from NatWest and additional energy grants, the firm is installing solar panels and additional insulation at its factory headquarters.

Dunsford said: “I started to look at solar power for our premises around five years ago as I wanted to invest for the future and ensure our building itself is an asset that is working positively for the future of the business. At the time though, the payback on the investment would have taken too long to make to make it … Read More