From the top ยท 31 December 2015

Your top picks: The five most-read articles that have set the small business scene in 2015

top 5

As the year draws to a close, Business Advice looks back on some of the standout articles we?ve published throughout the year. Here?s your list of the top five most-read pieces.

(1) Landlord bars 800 campaigners for getting his pub listed, calling them ?hypocrites in cardigans?

Steve Coxshall, ex-manager of boyband Blue and owner of 300 year-old pub The Duke of Hampstead in North West London, barred 800 ?hypocrites in cardigans? in November for successfully campaigning to get the pub listed as an asset of community value (ACV) with Camden Council, making it more difficult for Coxhall to sell.

Wanting to remain free to sell the pub quickly, the former stockbroker now has to notify the council if he wants to sell, giving local residents six months to raise funds to buy him out. ?If you?ve got a pub and there is an economic downturn, what is the point of an ACV if there is no business?? he complained. ?If you have a six-month window where you can?t sell it, who is going to pay the bills??

Read the full story.

(2) Autumn Statement 2015: A 500-word summary for owners of micro and small businesses

Pulled together into a neat 500-word summary, Business Advice took a look at the key announcements from chancellor George Osborne?s November Autumn Statement for micro and small business owners.

The abolition of uniform business rates will give significantly greater power to local authorities to determine the conditions for local firms, whilst new R&D loans for small companies will be introduced. Changes to the renewable obligation and feed in tariff aim to save small businesses ?500 in energy bills in 2020-21, and an extension to the small business rate relief scheme exempt over 400,000 small firms from rates were also included. A new digital tax account requirement will be implemented.

Read the full story.

(3) Consumer Rights Act comes into force ? How will it affect you?

The Consumer Rights Act came into force in October, entitling consumers to longer refund rights. Other measures introduced include the first cover for digital products like Spotify or Netflix, as well as measures that will make it easier for consumers to reclaim money from businesses that have formed cartels.

The act also attempts to tackle price-fixing, with small firms now more able to tackle companies that fix prices on certain goods ? like air fares. Previously, those affected had to either opt into action or a bring a claim individually, under a personal name. The renewed act will strengthen the foundation for bringing a case with more people involved.

Read the full story.

(4) Countdown?s Rachel Riley returns to weekend job ahead of Small Business?Saturday

Television presenter Rachel Riley spent a day re-living her teenage Saturday job by working in a cafe in South London in December, in order to highlight the importance of small firms on the high street in the run up to Small Business Saturday.

?Small businesses add personality and individuality and are vital for local communities, so I?m fully behind this campaign to celebrate and support small traders around the country,? she said. American Express revealed statistics that suggested 60 per cent of UK adults once had a Saturday job.

Read the full story.

(5) The ten best and ten worst places to do business in the world

High-income economies were responsible for 62 reforms making enterprise easier in the last 12 months, whilst 85 developing economies implemented 169 business reforms, up from 154 reforms during 2014.

The World Bank?s Doing Business study found that the majority of regulations were brought in to improve the efficiency of regulation through a reduction in cost and complexity. On the UK?s progress, business secretary Sajid Javid said: ?Our economy is now growing faster than any other G7 nation.

?The UK has once again climbed up the rankings and is one of the top places in the world to do business, getting closer to the government?s target of reaching the top five.?

Read the full story.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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