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News & Views Broadband among key issues for small firms


Research carried out by the New Forum of Private Business has found that the most crucial challenges faced by small businesses, when it comes to infra- structure, are energy costs and effec- tive telecommunications – primarily broadband. Out of those that responded to the organisation’s survey, a total of 80% answered that both issues were ‘very important’ or ‘important’, with broad- band access being cited as a particular problem in rural parts of the country. The survey also highlighted the best and worst locations for effective busi- ness. Nearly three quarters of par- ticipants felt their location was suited to their business needs, chiefly due to access to good road networks. The North West of England led the regions in terms of business owners who are satisfied with their location (79%), but those in Scotland were clearly less sat- isfied, with only 65% rating their area as


‘effective’ or ‘very effective’. In London, 74% were happy with the capital as a place to run a business. Other factors deemed important when it comes to infrastructure were the reli- ability of energy supply, local banking services and local roads. The forum’s Head of Campaign’s said of the results: “Improving the UK’s trans- port network is extremely important but infrastructure is about more than just roads and railways - it is about cre- ating a business environment and road map for growth that paves the way for small firms to be successful and create jobs.”


She added: “We want the Government to build on what it is doing to create a joined-up system where projects on transport and communication work in harmony with proactive policies on energy, tax and red tape to boost busi- ness and consumer confidence and put


the economy back on track.”


Nearly a quarter of Forum members said they want the Government to focus on improving the infrastructures of local businesses, instead of larger national strategic projects. The majority felt there should be a balance between the two goals.


Kansara’s unveils Olympic-inspired chocolate


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In support of Team GB, the confectioner Kansara’s pro- duced a new Olympic-inspired chocolate adorned with the Union Jack. Bikrant Roy, on behalf of the company, said that this was a pioneering way for restaurants to serve chocolates to their customers and show that they are fully behind Team GB. The chocolates were made available all over the UK on a next-day delivery basis and the company made deliveries to hundreds of restaurants across the country. Kansara’s Olympics chocolates are available in mint, orange and milk flavour.


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