Tag Archives: business

Are small businesses being locked out of commercial lending?

Small business in the spotlight as de-regulation hits the headlines

Small businesses are the lifeblood of any economy, creating wealth and employment opportunities – and supporting economic growth at grass-roots level. This type of entrepreneurship has always been valued in the United States, where the founders of startups can aspire to become leaders of Fortune 500 companies if they hit on a successful niche.

But are small business owners being unfairly hampered by the raft of regulations introduced following the financial crisis of 2008? It’s an issue that’s hitting the headlines at the moment as ‎President Trump reaffirms his pre-election promises to de-regulate the financial services industry.

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Uber drivers win landmark case in UK

Tech firm Uber forced to review employment contractsEmployed or self-employed?

In a decision that could have significant implications for thousands of employers and workers in the so-called ‘gig economy’ in the UK, Uber drivers have won the right to be paid the national living wage.

The case, brought by two workers leaves the ride-hailing company open to claims from some 40,000 drivers in the UK and could further pressure other companies to review the way staff are contracted and paid.

Uber had argued it was essentially a tech company, and that its drivers were self-employed contractors able to choose when and where to work. In turn, this gave the company a free pass on workers’ rights, including the obligation to pay a national living wage and other perks such as holiday and sick pay.

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Airbnb’s Samara project targets new buildings

Airbnb is extending its reach into architecture and city planning with its new Samara projectSpace sharing for a new age of travel

The space-sharing disrupter Airbnb has ruffled as many feathers as it has inspired budget-conscious travellers the world over. By enabling homeowners to rent out living spaces – ranging from a single room to a whole house – the company has provided both a money-making opportunity for owners and a cost-effective accommodation model for cash-strapped tourists.

But the San Francisco-based company has plenty of detractors, with hoteliers complaining about the deleterious effect on their businesses, and city dwellers accusing Airbnb of contributing to the process of gentrification by reducing the availability of long-term rentals. The phenomenon has led to concerns about the adverse effect growing tourist numbers might have on historic cities, with a number of authorities cracking down on commercial activity by introducing new regulations.

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US companies should review ‘male, pale and stale’ boardroom

Shareholder advisor ISS advises refresh of tired boardroomRoom at the top?

Ever get the feeling that it’s about time you changed some of your fixtures and fittings? Well it’s a message that corporate governance advisor ISS is trying to get across to the shareholders of some of the United States’ top companies – including Alphabet and Berkshire Hathaway – as it begins to apply pressure for a little light boardroom ‘refreshment’.

As part of its latest annual survey, ISS is canvassing opinions on boards where long-serving directors hold sway or where new members are about as rare as hens’ teeth. The outcome could help to shape changes in its investor voting guidelines in the future.

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