Faced with a barely growing economy, the government has targeted smaller companies as a major source of growth and has introduced reforms to encourage start-ups and make it easier for existing businesses to expand, reports The Telegraph.
Director of Smart Currency Business, Carl Hasty, says: “Traditionally, Europe has been the UK’s most important trade partner and the first port of call for most UK firms looking to expand abroad. Increasingly, however, businesses are looking beyond the Eurozone to higher growth markets elsewhere in the world. So much so, the Eurozone is now the destination of less than half of all British exports.”
Stress had a noticeable impact on businesses in 2012, with decision-makers from British SMEs indicating that the negative effect of stress levels, low morale and staff absence could be set to continue unless the economic environment improves. 29 per cent of SMEs polled state that these issues are having a negative impact on overall business performance.
According to a fifth of SMEs surveyed, workforce absence levels have risen over the past two years, with 12 per cent reporting more short-term stress-related absences of less than four weeks in the last year.
CALGARY • As the cost of wringing oil from Alberta’s bitumen deposits continues to edge up, companies are assessing whether to spend billions on new mining projects or pour money into steam-driven extraction.
Pushed by competition for materials and labour, supply costs for a new oil sands mine without an upgrader climbed 13.2% from a year ago to $68.30 a barrel, a study published this week by the government- and industry-funded Canadian Energy Research Institute said.