Small Business in the UK Want to Remain with the EU

A survey of 1000 small businesses in the UK has shown that they want to remain in the EU. They put this wish above taxes and highly skilled workforce desires. Their EU membership is a key concern of theirs with the new government.

Bibby Financial Services is an independent finance specialist that conducted the report. As their UK chief executive David Postings said, “The new Government must address the economic challenges ahead and create a stable environment for small businesses to flourish. The businesses we speak with tell us that this should encompass a reduction in the business tax rates and clarity on the tax regime over the next five years.”

David Cameron has pledged to hold an EU referendum on UK membership by the end of 2017.

EU Officials come to the Ukraine

Top officials from the EU recently met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to speed economic and political reforms. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker arrived in Kiev from Luxembourg and joined Mr Poroshenko and European Council President Donald Tusk to talk at the presidential offices. In addition to their talks, Kiev will be the location for the National Reform conference taking place today.

The bloc has, as of now, agreed to $3.7 billion in balance of payments for their assistance for the Ukraine. The EU has said it could eventually make up to €11 billion available through various loans and grants in coming years.

The EU is also expected to announce stepped-up assistance for efforts to clean up the area around the Chernobyl nuclear site. However, it is not expected that Mr. Juncker and Mr. Tusk will meet Mr. Poroshenko’s demands for an EU peacekeeping presence in eastern Ukraine. They are also not expected to accept the idea of granting Ukranians visa free access to the bloc.

Help European IPOs Says the IPO Task Force

Financial trade groups have started to lobby the European Commission to implement changes that helped to bring about the US biotech IPO boom. What the European IPO Task Force specifically wants is for politicians to slash the regulatory and administrative cost that is involved in going public by as much as 50%. This would help more small companies to stay afloat.

They have identified cost as one of the main reasons that companies haven’t been going public. Together, EuropeanIssuers, the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association and the Federation of European Securities Exchanges (FESE) have figured out that up to 10% of an IPO that raises less than $55 million is taken up by fees. And that this keeps the little guys from going public.

They argue that current legislation is designed around the top 10% of companies. They want a 50% reduction in fees and they want small companies spared from certain requirements. As Philippe de Backer, a Belgian Member of the European Parliament, said “Although Europe continues to build and grow businesses with the potential to be world class the failure of the IPO market to facilitate their access to capital hampers their growth and ultimately their potential to create jobs.”

Eastern European News

EU Offering Aid to Bulgaria

The European Commission has proposed a grant to give Bulgaria EUR 10 million in aid for flood damage. The EU’s Economic and Financial Affairs Council is expected to approve of this proposal. The vote on the EUR 10 million aid package for Varna and Dobrich districts will take place on Friday, according to the Bulgarian EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.

Banning High Powered Hair Dryers & Other Appliances in the EU

If you live in the EU, you might want to grab that high powered hair dryer and hide it now. That’s because the hair dryer is on the list of 30 appliances that the EU is considering banning in order to curb energy consumption. A study that was commissioned by the EU has identified these 30 appliances which would be restricted.

The ban on powerful vacuum cleaners already began this week. From September 1, companies in the EU will be banned from making or importing vacuum cleaners that are above 1600 watts.

Sales have certainly risen ahead of the deadline with sales jumping for Tesco 44% in the last few nights.

As Guenther Oettinger told Germany’s Bild newspaper “We haven’t got round to these devices yet, we want to curb power consumption.” The EU Commission spokeswoman said, “It’s a study we have asked consultants to do. In the final report they will reduce 30 products to 20. In January 2015 we will look at these recommendations then select from this list what to regulate and how.”

Of course, the National Hairdressers’ Federation (NHF) has urged the EU to reconsider, saying its plans are “ill thought-out”. NHF president Mark Corary pointed at the potential irony of the ban, saying that banning these items won’t reduce energy consumption since blow-drying a client’s hair will now just take longer.