Business Now Mag

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  • BBC Business News: Brexit: Obama warns on global growth after UK vote
    US President Barack Obama says that the British vote to leave the European Union raises "longer-term concerns about global growth".
  • BBC Business News: Brexit: Singapore bank UOB suspends London property loans
    Singapore's UOB suspends its loan programme for London properties, citing uncertainty caused by the UK's vote to leave the European Union.
  • BBC Business News: Economy overshadows Australian elections
    Australians vote in a federal election on Saturday. While climate change, immigration and education are key issues, it is the economy that is likely to decide who wins.
  • BBC Business News: Brexit: Freedom of movement 'on the table' for forthcoming talks
    Freedom of movement will be "on the table" when the UK negotiates its withdrawal from the EU, French Finance Minister Michel Sapin says.
  • BBC Business News: Tata Steel fears that UK political situation may derail sale
    Tata Steel is concerned that political uncertainty could derail the planned sale of its UK assets, says BBC Industry correspondent John Moylan.
  • BBC Business News: Deutsche Bank and Santander fail US stress test
    Nearly all large US banks pass the Federal Reserve's annual stress test, with only Europe's Deutsche Bank and Santander failing.
  • BBC Business News: Earn as you snooze
    As businesses become ever more concerned about the impact of sleep deprivation, one company is now paying its staff to get a good night's shut-eye.
  • BBC Business News: Global stock markets rally as Brexit fears abate
    The FTSE 100 recovers from heavy losses after last week's Brexit vote, while Wall Street's rally continues, as investors' concerns ease.
  • BBC Business News: My Local enters administration with 1,000 jobs at risk
    More than 1,000 jobs are at risk as the My Local convenience store chain sold by supermarket Morrisons last year calls in administrators.
  • BBC Business News: LuxLeaks scandal: Luxembourg tax whistleblowers convicted
    Two whistleblowers in "Luxleaks" tax scandal get suspended jail terms as journalist on trial is acquitted
  • Business Matters: John Lewis announces five tech start ups set to disrupt retail in 2016

    The five startups were whittled down from more than 280 initial applications, and successfully navigated an intensive pitch day in front of a senior judging panel.

    DigitalBridge – DigitalBridge solves the problem of the imagination gap by allowing customers to visualise new home furnishings using Computer Vision and Machine Learning technology.

    Ding Labs – A doorbell that taps into the smart home revolution by enabling homeowners to talk to the person at their front door from anywhere in the world

    Link Big – A tool that turns Instagram to a social checkout by allowing customers to buy products seamlessly from their Instagram feed

    Robotical – The creators of Marty the Robot. A fully programmable, customisable walking robot to help kids learn about coding, 3D printing and robotics.

    Wedding Planner – Combining technology, industry expertise and creativity to help brides and grooms to-be plan their wedding from their phone and online.

    From July 4th, finalists will spend 10 weeks embedded in John Lewis’ head office, fully immersed in the operations of one of the UK’s leading omnichannel retailers. The startups will glean valuable commercial insights, boosting development of their own products in collaboration with specialist mentors. All teams will be eligible to receive funding of up to £100,000 from John Lewis and L Marks.

    Paul Coby, IT Director at John Lewis, said: “From programmable robotics to advanced visualisation, our finalists are locked into some of the most exciting growth areas in modern retail. John Lewis aims to be at the forefront of innovation, and JLAB is how we engage with the vibrant UK start up scene. The next twelve weeks will be a great period of development for the finalists, as they rapidly hone their products under guidance from John Lewis mentors and industry experts. I can’t wait to see what the final outcome will be.”

    Stuart Marks, technology entrepreneur and Chairman of L Marks, said: “JLAB is a proven example of successful collaboration between large and small business. The startups will have unprecedented access to John Lewis’s retail expertise, working together to exchange ideas and create a product or service that has real commercial application. John Lewis in turn can attract the brightest retail startups and maintain a nimble approach to innovation. We’ve enjoyed strong results with JLAB so far and are confident that this will be continued with this year’s finalists.”

    The finalists were selected by a 15-strong judging panel comprised of multiple John Lewis executives as well as external industry experts. Representatives of John Lewis included Paul Coby, IT Director, Johnathan Marsh, Buying Director EHT, Sarah Venning, Director IT Strategy and Planning, and Sienne Veit, Director Online Product. External judges included Bethany Koby, CEO of Tech Will Save Us, and Indira Thambiah, Director of Silly Point Consulting.

  • BBC Business News: Morrisons plans to complain about another Aldi advert
    Supermarket Morrisons says it plans to make a fresh complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority about discount chain Aldi.
  • BBC Business News: BHS: Philip Green demands apology for 'outrageous' claim
    Former BHS owner Sir Philip Green has demanded an apology for an "outrageous outburst" by MP Frank Field as the row over the retailer's collapse escalates.
  • Business Matters: UK to leave EU VAT regime following Brexit

    This move however will likely lead to more compliance complexities especially for those that buy and sell within the EU and businesses are urged to take advice.

    Once the two year renegotiation period has concluded, the UK’s VAT Act will take supremacy and the UK government will be free to amend the Act to suit its own objectives, including setting VAT rates on key products such as domestic fuel, female sanitary products and e-books.

    For those that trade within the EU, however, the landmark vote means that the UK will lose its intra-community trading status. This means products or services sold into the EU from the UK will be treated as imports and will be subject to EU VAT. It has been estimated that this change could cost UK businesses €3.4 billion in so called ‘frontier costs’.

    Smaller businesses that benefit from distance selling threshold relief will also be impacted and may think twice about promoting EU sales if they have to be VAT registered in all the countries they are selling in.

    EU VAT recovery will become slower and more prone to challenges as UK companies will have to use the paper based 13th Directive regime instead of the simplified 8th Directive to claim back tax.

    Additionally, use and enjoyment rules will no longer apply to UK businesses or international companies with a UK head office who benefit from some purchases such as EU-wide software licences being zero-rated.

    One benefit that won’t change, however, is the MOSS reporting system which UK providers of digital services will still be able to use as it is open to both non union and EU based companies. However, all companies will need to review their accounting and invoicing software so that it can accommodate the new processes and tax codes.

    Brent Goodwin, Senior VAT Manager at Newby Caslteman said, “Whilst the result could have both pros and cons for UK businesses, we can be sure that the tax arena is only going to become more complex.

    Therefore it is absolutely crucial that all UK businesses and especially those that buy and sell goods from and to any of the remaining 27 EU countries speak to a professional about their VAT obligations and how these may change once the separation is complete.”

  • Business Matters: Winners crowned in UK and Ireland’s biggest entrepreneur competition Voom 2016

    Each of the winners – one from each category – will take home a slice of the £1 million prize fund, which includes a cash prize, mentoring and marketing support to accelerate and grow their businesses.

    The finalists had just two minutes to pitch their business and the winners were selected after intense deliberations by the judging panel made up of Sir Richard Branson, Tyra Banks, Sara Blakely Marcus Butler and Virgin Media Business Managing Director, Peter Kelly. The winning pitches stood out for their potential to disrupt the market, profitability and innovative spark.

    Peter Kelly said: “Today’s finale is a celebration of the all the incredible businesses we have met throughout the competition – the talent we have uncovered and ideas we have heard has been inspiring, it’s what ‘VOOM’ is all about. Congratulations to all our finalists and the winners, they have worked extremely hard to get here and I’m excited to see what they do next.”


    The start-up category was won by Scottish business MacRebur, an innovative company which uses a patented method and recipe to produce new road asphalt out of waste plastic – a process that creates a longer lasting, cheaper road surface that is 60% stronger than standard asphalt. It was founded by three dads; Toby McCartney, Gordon Reid and Nick Burnett after Toby volunteered as a plastic picker in Mumbai and wanted to come up with a creative way to find a use for the millions of tonnes of waste plastic that is produced every year

    London business bio-bean took out the grow category for its clean technology company which recycles waste coffee grounds from your morning cup of coffee into sustainable biofuels. Founded by Arthur Kay after he saw an opportunity to use coffee waste to power cities, buildings and cars, bio-bean now operates the world’s first coffee waste recycling factory. It processes 50,000 tonnes of waste a year and has just launched a new product – Coffee Logs – a carbon neutral consumer product that replaces coal and wood.

    Richard Branson, Virgin Founder said: “I love seeing entrepreneurs pitch an idea to me which they are incredibly passionate about and it was both a difficult and inspiring task to choose just two winners. All the finalists of the Virgin Media Business VOOM competition showed they have the dedication and intense desire to take their business to incredible heights and I believe they will all do so.”

    Now in its fifth year, ‘VOOM 2016’ is the UK and Ireland’s biggest and most valuable pitching competition.

    All six finalists now join a very special alumnus of past contestants who have gone on to achieve great success on a global stage since the competition. All entrants will receive continued support for their business through the Virgin Media Pioneers community which provides peer-to-peer advice, information and inspiration for thousands of entrepreneurs.

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