Hicks blog

Compliance costs SMEs

Inflation falls to 14-year low

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rate of inflation fell sharply to 0.5% in the year to December 2014, from 1% in November 2014, official figures show.

Employees take advantage of flexible working

There is a high demand among employees for flexible working arrangements, research by the Centre for Economic and Business Research and Citrix has found.

Fewer SMEs using bank finance

The proportion of SMEs using tradional forms of finance fell in the second quater of 2014, according to research by BDRC Continental.

Record confidence among small businesses

Confidence among small businesses has reached record levels, research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found.

SME loan success rate up to 80%

Four out of 5 SME loan applications were approved in 2014, compared with 71% in 2013, according to research by venture capital firm Albion Ventures.


The number of people planning to save over the next 3 months increased from 16% in spring 2013 to 18% in spring 2014, according to National Savings & Investments (NS&I).

SME overseas sales growth predicted

Overseas sales for small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) are predicted to total £15 billion over the next 12 months, according to a survey by Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.

Overtime normal for most managers

More than 90% of managers work more than their contracted weekly hours, according to research from the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM).