Hicks blog

Online sales growth continues

Online retailers have reported their strongest January sales of non-food products since 2009, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC). Online sales of non-food products increased by 19.2 per cent in January 2014, compared with January 2013.

Skills shortage may curb growth

A growing shortage of skills “may constrain economic growth”, research from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) has suggested.

SME population hits six-year high

The number of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK reached a six-year high of 2.16 million in 2013, according to the National Association for Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB).

Crowdfunding guidance for small firms

Guidance about how small firms and start-ups can access finance through crowdfunding has been published as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which ran from 18-24 November.

Brian Hicks Memorial Football Match

On the 7th January 2014 at 7.30pm, Harpenden Town FC will host a Memorial football match in remembrance of Brian Hicks.


It was announced in this year’s Budget that people who bought a with profits annuity from the Equitable Life Assurance Society before September 1992 - and were aged 60 or older on 20 March 2013 - would receive an ex-gratia payment of £5,000. Payments were planned for the 2014/15 tax year but have now been brought forward to this tax year instead.

Top tips for securing business finance

New guidance for businesses on securing bank finance has been released by two leading membership organisations from the business and banking sectors.

Micro-business accounting rules relaxed

The UK’s 1.5 million micro businesses will now be able to prepare and publish much-reduced financial statements, as the Government’s drive to reduce the red-tape burden on businesses continues. A micro business has:

Number of home businesses hits 2.5m

More than half of the UK’s small businesses now operate from home, according to research from Direct Line for business (DL4B). The 2.5 million home business owners account for 52 per cent of all small businesses and eight per cent of the total UK workforce.