Business 26 March 2014

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Business Bristol Post, Budget preview special, Exports Special. Your world of opportunity. With the Chancellor to offer substantial support for firms to trade overseas in a bid to sustain the UK's economic upturn, experts say there has never been a better time to export - p10&11.


<ul><li><p>2EPB-E01-S3</p><p> for a new job?See our bumper 16-pagesupplement inside</p><p>FIND A NEW JOB</p><p>Minister Greg Clark says theCity Deal will bring arevolution for Bristol, p6</p><p>BIG INTERVIEW</p><p>With the Chancellor to offer substantial supportfor firms to trade overseas in a bid to sustain theUKs economic upturn, experts say there hasnever been a better time to export - p10&amp;11</p><p>CYBER THREAT</p><p>262014MAR</p><p>YOUR WORLD OFOPPORTUNITY</p><p>EXPORTS SPECIAL</p><p>Firms are warned about therising danger to theirinformation security, p14&amp;15</p></li><li><p>EPB-E01-S3</p><p>EPB-E0</p><p>1-S3</p><p>2 We d n e s d a y, M a rc h 26, 2014 3We d n e s d a y, M a rc h 26, 2014 w w w. b r i s t o l p o s t w w. b r i s t o l p o s t</p><p> From left, Mike Spike Garty, Lee Godwin, Fraser Besant, Andy Besant, Kerry Rogers and Matt LamoonPic: Barbara Evripidou BRBE20140324C-2</p><p>CUSTOMERS from as far awayas the Orkney Islands andthe Outer Hebrides havebeen buying lighting from agrowing Bristol firm.Ablectrics, situated on Gloucester</p><p>Road, has rapidly expanded its onlineservice over the past five years and 20per cent of its internet sales are nowto people in Scotland.The firm sells a wide range of light-</p><p>ing products and equipment, includ-ing LED and low-energy lighting forbathrooms, gardens, security, chan-deliers and for commercial use.Partner Fraser Besant said the</p><p>reason his products were popular inremote parts of the Highlands and</p><p>further afield was because residentswere so far away from DIY stores.</p><p>Sometimes they can buy items for4 and then pay 4.99 to get themposted to them, he said. But whenthey are 30 miles or further fromtheir nearest store, it can make sense.They are in obscure villages andtowns and buying things like lighting,circuit-breakers and fuse boxes.Internet sales account for 20 per</p><p>cent of the electrical wholesaler andlighting specialists profits.The family businesss second</p><p>biggest online market is London,thought to be because of the capitalshigher prices, which account for justunder 20 per cent of web sales.The firm turns over nearly 1 mil-</p><p>lion. Fraser, 29, added: Without theinternet there is no way we would bedoing so well. There are thousandsand thousands of fittings and we cantpossibly stock them all in store. The</p><p>majority of those who buy online buyagain within the next two months. Wehave a five per cent return rate.Ablectrics is to push its online</p><p>activity further with the launch of anew website in May. It will have twospecial features a pop-up windowoffering users a range of low-energylightbulb options and a log-in fortrade customers, such as electricians,who will be able to offer their owncustomers a discount.The business is also set to re-fit its</p><p>shop next year. The present show-room will hold stock, while the frontof the premises will be converted intoan open-plan showroom.Ablectrics celebrates 40 years in</p><p>business on Sunday with a discountday of 15 per cent off all lighting.It was founded by Frasers dad,</p><p>Andy, and employs five people. Visit the companys website atw w w. l i g h t i n g s h o p b r i s t o l . c o . u k .</p><p>ElectricalMedical</p><p>Sick days GPs join forces to offerspeedy help when workers fall ill</p><p>FOUR Bristol-based GP prac-tices have come together toform a business that they be-lieve will transform the wayoccupational healthcare is de-l ive re d .Long Ashton Surgery, Yatton Sur-</p><p>gery, Wrington Vale Medical Practiceand Clevedon Riverside Group havejoined forces to form Work Doctors, aspecialist occupational healthcarecompany with unrivalled expertise inworkplace health and wellbeing.With many hundreds of sick days</p><p>lost to industry across the South Westevery year, Work Doctors aims torevolutionise how occupationalhealth has traditionally been de-livered and raise the standard forspeed, responsiveness and issue res-olution for both the employer ande m p l oye e.They hope that the result will be</p><p>businesses in Greater Bristol findingit quicker and easier to access thespecialist advice, support and assist-ance they need to keep their em-ployees healthy, well and productiveat work.Work Doctors is led by occupation-</p><p>al physician and Bristol-based GP, DrMark OConnor, who said: We be-lieve that workplace healthcare canbe better delivered by a company that</p><p>works with both the employer and theemployee to deliver sensitive solu-tions in an engaging, timely and per-sonal way.</p><p>Employees are one of the mostvaluable assets for many businesses</p><p>and too much time can be lost incoming to an understanding of theirdiagnosis and treatment when theyare unwell, and how these impact ontheir ability to work.</p><p>Our model eliminates the tradi-tional delays and delivers a definitereport and recommended treatmentplan within 24 hours.With this approach, Work Doctors</p><p>aims to provide business owners andmanagers with a swift and compre-hensive solution to the myriad andoften complex range of physical andemotional issues that can arise intoday's busy and highly pressuredwo rk p l a c e s.The new company has a head office</p><p>and medical facility in Long Ashton.and hopes to expand quickly.</p><p> A FIRM that hires outearth-moving equipment is growingits range by a quarter and buying 80more pieces of kit.Plantforce, based in Yatton, is</p><p>making the move after agreeing a3.5 million funding package fromSantander Corporate &amp; Commercial.The expansion is in response to</p><p>strong customer demand for itsservices, which reflects strength inthe construction industry.Founded in 1999 by owner and</p><p>managing director, Claire Trott,Plantforce holds around 380 piecesof plant and machinery which itrents out to customers across theSouth West, from South Wales toCor nwall.The business employs 85 people</p><p>full and part-time across its twosites in Yatton and Exeter.The firm has also been making</p><p>more efficiency savings, and tocomply with new emissionsregulations, and is on track toincrease profits by seven per cent in2014.Claire said: We are delighted to</p><p>be able to reinvest in our businessand have been impressed withSantanders understanding of ourambitions. The bank has providedan excellent level of service, puttingfacilities in place to fit our businessmodel and we are sure we willcontinue this relationship in thef u t u re . Chris Mears, relationship director</p><p>at the bank, said: Plantforce is anexcellent example of a businessresponding proactively to the needsof their customers and taking thedecision to invest in new staff andequipment. We have been hugelyimpressed by the team at Plantforceand very much look forward tosupporting their growth plans.</p><p>3.5m funding helpsplant hire firm expand</p><p>C o n st r u c t i o nQuality touches helphotel scoop award THE Bristol Hotel has won aBusiness Tourism Award for itscommitment to excellence in qualityand customer care.Little touches including</p><p>home-made lemonade freelyavailable in reception andshortbread served with coffeeshelped it take the prize.The 187-bed hotel in Narrow</p><p>Quay, Harbourside, will now goforward to represent the city in thebusiness tourism category of theVisit England national awards.Finalists for those awards will beannounced later this month, withgold, silver, bronze and highlycommended prizes being confirmedin April, ahead of a presentationceremony in May.The Bristol Hotels housekeeping</p><p>team won the Team of the YearAward Hospitality, based on itssuccess in consistently hitting itstargets and maintaining highstandards in the guest rooms andpublic areas.A spokesperson from the hotel</p><p>said: Lighter, healthier lunches arenow on offer in the hotelsconference centre, with the chefable to create bespoke menus tosuit guests dietary needs, andvarious technology upgrades havebeen introduced, such as improvedsound systems. The constantinvestment in the building resulted ina marked reduction in guestcomplaints and increased loyaltyfrom existing guests.</p><p>Office businesstakes over floor A SERVICED office business hastaken over the fifth floor at OneTemple Quay, showing the growingdemand for flexible office space.The firm, i2 Office, has taken the</p><p>24,000 sq ft space and is fitting itout to house a range of officestotalling 310 desks.Businesses signed up already</p><p>include planning consultants LerchBates, which is expanding its UKbusiness with a new Bristol office.Chief executive of i2, Philip Grace,</p><p>said: One Temple Quay occupies aprominent position in the heart ofthe prime business district ofBristol, and is generally consideredas the finest building in the area.</p><p>To u r i s m</p><p>Proper ty</p><p>Optimism temperedby some concerns BUSINESS leaders were givencause for cautious optimismfollowing addresses at theUniversity of the West of England.The Institute of Chartered</p><p>Accountants for England and Wales(ICAEW) and Lloyds Banking Grouppointed to an increase in businessconfidence but with concerns aboutthe future health of the economy.Chief economist at Lloyds Bank</p><p>Trevor Williams predicted solidupturn during 2014 and 2015 in theUK, with the South West wellpositioned with its high growthsectors such as the creativeindustries and smart technologies,together with access to high endeducation provision.However he warned there were</p><p>risks to recovery including theEurozone, where he forecast tepidgrowth would continue.Simon Thompson, head of</p><p>corporate communications atICAEW, unveiled the key findings ofthe latest quarterly businessconfidence monitor that it produceswith Grant Thornton.The report reveals that business</p><p>confidence in the UK had increasedfor six consecutive quarters and thatturnover and profit growth wouldcontinue to pick up.</p><p>Eco n o my</p><p>Leading lights Scots helponline business flourish</p><p>Sign uphere forbusinessnews directto yourinboxevery day</p><p>Assistant Editor (Business)Gavin Thompson</p><p>Call 0117 934 3336Email gavin.thompson</p><p> @gavin_thompson1</p><p>Get in touch</p><p>Advertising RobertRodgersonCall07828 941469Email ro b e r t . ro d g e r s o</p><p>Advertising JaneChapman</p><p>Call 01179 343025Email jane.chapman</p><p></p><p>Best deals - How the numbers stack up</p><p>Business currentaccounts</p><p>Petrol prices</p><p>1.01%10,000 deposit</p><p>0.05%1 deposit</p><p>0.25%1 deposit</p><p>State Bankof India</p><p>0.05%500 deposit</p><p>Co-operativeBank</p><p>0.12%1 deposit</p><p>Unity TrustBank</p><p>0.10%25,000 deposit</p><p>129 .36pUnleaded136 . 47 pDiesel138 .1 1Superunleaded70 .1 0 pLPGSource:</p><p>Business savingsaccounts</p><p>1.53%1,000 deposit</p><p>1.49%10,000 deposit</p><p>1.45%10,000 deposit</p><p>State Bankof India</p><p>1.36%1,000 deposit</p><p>Hanley EconomicBS</p><p>1.25%1,000 deposit</p><p>S h a w b ro o kBank</p><p>1.25%5,000 deposit</p><p>Inflation (CPI)</p><p>1.7 %Weekly earnings</p><p>1.6 %Base interest rate</p><p>0.5 %Ave mortgage rate</p><p>3.99 %Source: BusinessMoneyfacts IrishBank (GB)</p><p>Cambridge &amp;CountiesBank</p><p>Bank OfCyprus UK</p><p>NationalCounties BS</p><p>Advertising ShamaAbokor, RegionalBusiness AccountExecutiveCall 0117 934</p><p>Gavin ThompsonAssistant Editor (Business)</p><p> The Work Doctors, from left, Dr Andrew Warinton, Dr Stephen Pill, Roger Harrison, Dr Mark O'Connor, Julie Davidson, Lesley Irvine and Dr Shruti Patel</p><p>Dr Mark OConnor</p><p>Employees are one ofthe most valuable assetsfor many businesses andtoo much time can belost in coming to anunderstanding of theirdiagnosis and treatment</p><p>I TEND to have low expectationsof Budgets too often they are allmouth and no trousers, full ofpolitical posturing and pointlesstinkering dressed up as helpfuli n i t i at ive s.However, I have to say that last</p><p>week Chancellor George Osborne de-livered one of the best Budgets inmany years.The repositioning towards d o e r s,</p><p>makers and savers is long overdue.The Government is hamstrung by thesize of the deficit in the amount ofhelp it can give these worthy folk, butthe shift in emphasis is welcome, as isthe unstated, but observable, turnaway from complex trivialities to asimpler approach.The highlights for me were:</p><p> Business tax the increase in theannual investment allowance to500,000 is a pleasant surprise, butperhaps even more important is thetimeframe to the end of 2015. Theprevious constantly changing allow-ance levels made investment de-</p><p>cisions difficult for any investmentwith a long lead time.Personal tax at last the higher rateband symbolically moves upwards alittle in a belated recognition of thedamaging effect of fiscal drag onmiddle income earners.Pensions the move to allow peopleto draw their pensions more easilyand cheaply was a bold move and anecessary one. Retirees are no longerforced by the insurance giants to takepoor-value annuities. Apprenticeships on the non-fiscalfront, I like the idea of degree level</p><p>apprenticeships. Why get 30,000 intodebt going to university when youcan earn and gain practical exper-ience while you learn?The kind of language now being</p><p>used is a long way from the previousa d m i n i s t r at i o ns absurd pettifog-ging, which reached its Pythonesquepeak with the occasional free break-fast (maximum six per annum) oncycle-to-work days, requiring defin-itions of qualifying meals and des-ignated days.I now make a plea to all public</p><p>p o l i cy - m a ke r s.We know that all Budgets are based</p><p>on economic data an endless suc-cession of numbers, the meaning ofwhich has to be interpreted by ex-per ts.</p><p>Behind these numbers, however, isthe reality of economic activity un-dertaken by human beings, led in myopinion by the entrepreneurs owningand running small and medium en-terprises and owner-managed busi-n e s s e s.Such businesses are not statistics,</p><p>they are the dynamic, collective res-ults of peoples hopes and dreamsand hard graft, and politiciansshould make it their number onepriority to ensure they survive andp ro s p e r.I am constantly inspired by the</p><p>energy, vision, ingenuity and resi-lience displayed by these enterprisesin the face of challenging macroe-conomic conditions.In the Bristol area, we are fortunate</p><p>that statistically we have more thanour fair share of such people andbu s i n e s s e s.These SMEs and OMBs are the real</p><p>sources of economic growth, yet they together with their owners re m a i namong the most highly taxed andheavily regulated entities in the UK.Sorry Mr Balls, but more taxes and</p><p>more regulation will be about as wel-come among the OMB and SME com-munity as the Black Death.George has certainly made a start,</p><p>but there is a very long way to go.</p><p>Osborne Budget delivers outbreak of economic good senseAndrew FisherFCAExecutive directorAlanbrookes LtdAndr 863386</p><p>Know how I have to say GeorgeOsborne delivered oneof the best Budgets inmany years. Therepositioning towardsdoers, makers andsavers is long overdue.</p><p>FOR SALETYTHERINGTONCastle Quarry, TytheringtonGL12 8QU</p><p>IN PLOTS OR POSSIBLY WHOLEApprox 11.88 acres (4.81 ha)Office Building 5,046 sq.ft.Industrial Building 3,636 sq.ft.Suitable forvariety of uses,subject toplanning</p><p>Ref: N. Clark</p><p>Chris</p></li><li><p>EPB-E01-S3</p><p>EPB-E0</p><p>1-S3</p><p>2 We d n e s d a y, M a rc h 26, 2014 3We d n e s d a y, M a rc h 26, 2014 w w w. b r i s t o l p o s t w w. b r i s t o l p o s t</p><p> From left, Mike Spike Garty, Lee Godwin, Fraser Besant, Andy Besant, Kerry Rogers...</p></li></ul>