Last week the nations retailers promoted ‘Black Friday’ which was quickly followed up by ‘Cyber Monday’ earlier this week. Both names coming from America, it is the start of the stress and panic Christmas present buying period. The idea involves retailers across the UK slashing their prices in the hope to attract shoppers into their stores. The news reports showed hundreds of shoppers fighting and climbing over each other in the thought of saving some money. Some just picked up the nearest box without even stopping to think what was in it. The big supermarkets opened their doors at midnight, with hundreds of people waiting outside. Once the doors opened, it was a huge charge to the nearest pile of reduced products.

Cyber Monday followed after the weekend. This promotion had millions logging onto the internet to find the best bargains, sadly hundreds of websites crashed under the pressure, so not all the promotions could be accessed. Many people thought that the Boxing Day sales had come early, which in a way it had as prices will remain the same until January. The ‘Black Friday’ sales began as an American tradition in which shoppers would race to snap up bargains on the first Friday after their Thanksgiving holiday. The name was coined by Philadelphia police in the Sixties after hordes of rampant shoppers caused havoc and started fighting. This weekend social media was awash with videos of pushing and shoving, with a few stores being closed by the police to control public safety. It was also the last ‘PayDay’ for most workers before Christmas.

Recently, Chancellor George Osborne announced news to increase help to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) in his Autumn Statement. He has pledged £400m to extend the Enterprise Capital Funds system and he would guarantee up to £500m of new bank lending. Both of these will be administered by the British Business Bank. The government has a target of £10 billion worth of finance for SMEs by 2017/2018 and they are on target to do it. The scheme has already been extended once and was due to finish at the end of January, it will now run until the end of January 2016. Addressing the House of Commons, the Chancellor said: “This country has succeeded in making Britain the most entrepreneurial economy in Europe”. To make sure that the UK’s growing SME’s have access to credit and help, the government will also extend the Small Business Rate relief charge as well. Other measures announced included a huge increase in research and development tax credit and a £45m package to boost exports. Exporting products and services overseas means more money is kept in the country. National insurance paid by companies for apprentices will be scrapped, Osborne said. “When a business is giving a young person a chance in life we’re going to support.” The Chancellor said the government plans to build a “powerhouse of the North”, continuing a substantial investment in rail and road improvements. £15 billion has been promised to spend on the road network. This includes new roads and repairing the roads we already have. Hopefully this includes a full bypass fix instead of the poor repairs we keep getting.
LRB Trophies business partner and Selby Times ‘Trading up’ column writer, Steve Butler, was invited to the historic Mansion house in York to meet the Lord Mayor of York this week. (17/11/14). As part of York Business Week, the Lord Mayor had arranged a business meeting and breakfast for Young Entrepreneurs. After a warm welcome and introduction by The Lord Mayor, Ian Gillies, Steve was able to meet fellow business owners and chat about the current positives and negatives for young people getting into business. Some people had only just started out, while others had been running for a few years like LRB Trophies. Guests also included various City of York councillors, York St. John University professors and business owners on the multi million pound Science Park. The meeting took place in the grand Georgian style main hall, which was built between 1725 & 1732. York Business Week aims to showcase the many businesses that operate in the area and inspire a new generation of enterprise.