Each year First 4 Business donates to a charity chosen by one of our members. The 2017 donation was presented to Ravelrig Riding for the Disabled in Balerno by the request of Louise Roberts from Positive Outlook.
The Group provides people with a disability the opportunity to ride and enjoy all the activities connected with horse riding. Ravelrig RDA facilitates classes and therapeutic riding for around 120 riders per year and provides exciting and rewarding opportunities for more than 120 volunteers aged between 12 and 75. Ravelrig RDA relies entirely on donations, fundraising activities and trust or foundation grants. For more information visit www.ravelrig-rda.org.
Image: Volunteers from Ravelrig Riding for the Disabled in Balerno receiving the presentation check from Louise Roberts and Colin Gilchrist from First 4 Business March 6th 2017.
First 4 Business member and Senior Manager Ian Brown at MLM was recently published in Business Insider.
Most recent official figures published by the Accountant in Bankruptcy suggest the level of both corporate and personal bankruptcies in Scotland have fallen back to levels last seen before the recession.
The Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) figures, covering the three months to December 31, revealed the number of Scottish registered companies becoming insolvent or entering receivership had fallen for the second consecutive quarter – this time down 7.7 per cent – and the total in the three months to December was down almost 16 per cent year on year – a welcome sign of a strengthening Scottish economy.
With corporate insolvencies, it is all too easy to forget the cost is not just measured in pounds and pence; the fallout inevitably leads to long-serving employees losing their jobs, suppliers and creditors being left high and dry and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) ultimately losing out on tax revenue.
Read the full article at www.mlmsolutions.co.uk.
Ian H Brown
0845 051 0210
0141 243 2427
Now Landlords have yet another compliance issue to concern themselves with and this time it is a Legionella Risk Assessment.
Legionellosis is the collective name given to the pneumonia-like illness caused by legionella bacteria and includes Pontiac fever and Lochgoilhead fever as well as the most serious Legionnaires’ Disease-which is a potentially fatal form of pneumonia.
Everyone is susceptible to infection but higher risk groups include:-
- People over 45
- Smokers and heavy drinkers
- People with chronic respiratory or kidney disease
- Anyone with an impaired immune system
The bacterium is common in natural water sources and also purpose-built water systems. Legionnaires’ Disease is normally contracted by inhaling, deep into the lungs, tiny droplets of water which are contaminated with the legionella bacteria. Person to person spread of the disease has not been documented.
The bacteria require certain conditions in order to multiply including moderate temperature, adequate food supply and shelter. Thus the main aspect of legionella control is to ensure that you do not have suitable conditions within your water system to allow the legionella bacteria potentially to multiply to dangerous levels.
The bad news for landlords is that they now have a duty of care under the Health & Safety at Work Act and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations to ensure that the risk posed from legionella is formally recorded in a Legionella Risk Assessment and measures to control any identified risk are duly carried out.
A good Letting Agent will ensure that a landlord’s obligation in this regard has been properly met.
More information is available by referring to the HSE’s Approved Code of Practice & Guidance “Legionnaires’ Disease-The control of legionella bacteria in water systems” (also known as ACoP L8) and HSG 274-Legionnaires’ Disease-Technical Guidance “ both available to download from www.hse.gov.uk/legionnaires
0131 603 8987
Last week SNP’s John Swinney, the Scottish Finance Secretary announced his first draft budget for 2015-16 with the first direct revisions to Scottish taxes for over 300 years.
One of his most significant proposals is to replace Stamp Duty Land Tax ( SDLT ) with a new Land and Building Transaction Tax ( LBTT) which will come into force in April 2015. This will affect all residential and non residential purchases in Scotland, although this Article will focus on the changes to and likely effect on the residential market only.
Under the new tax proposals, a marginal rate of tax of 2% would apply to the proportion of a transaction between £135,000 and £250,000, while a 10% rate will apply to those between £250,000 and £1,000,000. Mr Swinney’s Party’ stated intention is to put the “ability to pay at the heart of what it has done” and certainly his changes will mean that more first time buyers will escape the requirement of any Government levy. A prime example would be a purchase at around £150,000 – under the existing legislation, SDLT of £1,500 would be paid. Under the new LBTT rates, there would be just £300 to pay, a significant saving of £1,200. In Edinburgh and immediate surroundings, the average sale price is in the region of £220,000 – under the existing legislation SDLT of £2,200 would be paid, and under the new proposals, only £1,400 – a saving of £800.
The point at which the new tax calculations will start costing the public more will be on any transaction over £325,000. An example of this is a purchase at £500,000, which under the existing legislation would see SDLT of £15,000 paid but under the new rules LBTT of no less than £27,300.
The figures at £1,000,000 are even more significant – £77,300 of tax under the new rules, compared with £40,000 under existing rules.
It is at the forefront of the Finance Secretary’s case that over 90% of the Scottish market, as a result of these changes, will pay less land transaction tax than under the existing regulations. That would indeed appear to be the case when looking at current statistics However it has been pointed out by many critics of these changes that there is likely to be some short to medium term distortion and disruption to the middle and upper levels of the market, particularly in high value areas such as Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and selective parts of Glasgow. The hardest hit are likely to be those in the £350,000 to £500,000 band. These are not, the critics contend , the “super rich”, but in the more affluent parts of the country, are the middle classes purchasing standard family homes. These are the aspirational people who are the creators of wealth and major contributors to the economy ( not only through taxation ) in almost all sectors and it is argued that they are the very people that Scotland ought to be encouraging and incentivizing to choose to live and remain in Scotland . The general consensus is that it will certainly take some time for the market to settle after these new tax levels are introduced and for the moment there is much conjecture as to whether the sums involved will be a real disincentive for some to see Scotland as the location of choice when compared with other areas of the UK. This is also a very clear reminder that the Scottish Government has the power to set tax rates and may not be afraid to use them in other areas. Only time will tell.
In the short term, the top end of the market is likely to see a significant rise in activity, with pressure to conclude deals within the next six months, before the new tax levels come into force. After April 2015, market activity is thought to be likely to swing back towards the lower end of the market, while those who are likely to be most disadvantaged by these new changes rein in any plans to move. What no-one can predict is the numbers of transactions these changes will affect, and whether the knock-on effect of a slow down in the local middle market will eventually cause a log jam amongst those either at the more affluent end of the first time buyers market, or seeking to move on from that point.
Finally, it should be stressed that this is a draft budget, and these proposed figures and bandings have not yet been confirmed. However it is thought very unlikely even after reviewing public reaction to these figures, that there will be any significant change to the overall proposals. Over time it will doubtless become just another cost for home owners to have to factor into an already expensive process.
Author: Anne Pacey, Shoosmiths LLP
Your business is reflected in how other perceive your staff and their vehicles.
Dirt and grim for the road and the environment can build up on commercial vehicles and this can impact your business in more ways than one. Here’ our list of 5 ways a clean fleet will be an asset to your business
- The Company Image – It is your reputation that is out on the road and is a mobile advert. Are you projecting a grimy image or a clean one.
- Staff Positivity – When drivers are given a clean vehicle they are more likely to take more pride in their job, viewing the company in a positive light. They are also more likely to take better care of a clean vehicle.
- Maintenance – When your vehicles go in for repair you want to know that everything is checked but some problems might not be easily visible if they are hiding under a layer of dirt.
- Safety – Keeping your vehicles clean improves the safety of your drivers. A clean van reflects more light, headlights and brake lights are brighter and a clear windscreen provides better vision for your drivers.
- Extending Life – Regular cleaning removes harmful pollutants from fleet vehicles which will increase their lifetime and can retain the value for when it is time for a trading in.
01506 44 33 00
“SGDetailing.com offers a varied range of services from a “Safe Wash” to Full Paint Correction. From 1 hour to 1 week we will take the utmost care in our Detailing Studio that is dust free, fully insured and secure.”
The impact of a separation or divorce between business partners or shareholders in a family company can have a catastrophic effect. In some cases, spouses are making considerable contributions to the growth and success of the business in question and so the thought that they may have a claim to a share in its value may be less controversial. However, in all too many cases, a claimant spouse receives a windfall due to a lack of forward planning. [Read more…]
Why do a good job or provide a good product or service?
The most important aspect of any company or product is its quality, unless you just want to make a quick buck of course. Ensuring you provide your customers with something that is valuable to them is key to success. Putting quality top of your list sets a standard which will build trust and with trust comes commitment and people buy into all of these things which in turn should produce longevity.
It is important to measure quality, looking at potential improvement through training or brain storming. Checking out the quality of competitor’s brands and reputations to see how you compare should always keep you one step ahead. [Read more…]
It’s a jungle out there!
So you better beware
Of the sharks that can bite
Or the snakes that hold tight
Look out for the tigers that
Will prowl and will pounce
They’ll catch you off guard
If you don’t keep your nounce
And what of the zebras
Unique every one
With giraffes as their plain mates
You may be out done [Read more…]
As the resident social media marketing person at F4B I’m offering a Twitter / Blogging – 28 Point Check List.
Does it help? Damn right.
Is it prescriptive? If you follow it to the letter I know it yields results – yes, I can prove it. So here you go: [Read more…]