Month: April 2021

Inside the red briefcase

first_imgGordon Brown’s 10th and possibly final Budget contained some nasty surprises together with some sweeteners for businesses of all sizes. How the Budget affects small firmsCorporation tax ratesThe u-turn on the 0% corporation tax rate on profits of less than £10,000, announced in the pre-budget report in December 2005, was confirmed. For small companies with taxable profits of less than £300,000 the rate of tax will be 19%. For companies with profits above £1.5m the full rate of 30% will be payable. Marginal relief is given to smooth the transition from one rate to another. First year allowancesThe rate of first year allowances for expenditure by small businesses on qualifying plant and machinery will be increased to 50% for new expenditure incurred between April 6, 2006, and April 5, 2007. A small business is one that satisfies two of the following conditions: not more than £5.6m in turnover; not more than £2.8m in assets; not more than 50 employees. Self-assessment filing date changeMeasures were announced to move the deadline for income tax self-assessment returns to September 30, where returns are on paper, or November 30, where the returns are filed online. Currently, self-assessment tax returns must be filed by January 31 following the tax year. It is intended that these changes will be effective from 2008 and will be introduced on a phased basis. By 2012 it is expected that all income tax self-assessment returns will be filed by these dates. In addition to this, computer-generated paper substitute returns currently used by accountants will no longer be accepted. For many businesses the change in these filing deadlines will increase pressures to prepare the necessary information in time. This is particularly true for sole traders and partners who have to prepare accounts.Venture capital schemesSome changes to Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) and Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) were announced in the Budget. The Chancellor announced that a new income tax relief for investors in Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) would be decreased to 30%. Previously the rate had been 40%. In addition, the minimum period for which investors must hold their shares will increase from three years to five years.Bigger changes were announced for EIS investments. The doubling of the income tax relief for the annual investment limit to £400,000 is a welcome increase. However, the change in the gross assets test will mean that less companies will be eligible for EIS relief. Under the current rules the gross asset of the company raising money under EIS must not exceed £15m immediately before the investment and £16m immediately after. These limits were reduced to £7m and £8m from April 6, 2006. TechnologyAnnouncements in connection with the current exemptions for computers and mobile phones came as a big surprise. The exemptions for computers have been around since 1999 and the government has actively encouraged Home Computer Initiative (HCI) schemes which rely on this exemption.Under current rules, no taxable charge arises where an employee is provided with computer equipment with a value of up to £2,500. This is on the basis that there is no transfer of ownership in the property and the scheme is available to all employees. Without the exemption, the employee would be subject to a benefit in kind on 20% of the value of the assets, ie £500. The removal of the exemption will affect businesses that were considering the introduction of these schemes. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has confirmed that where existing schemes are in place a benefit-in-kind charge will not arise. Mobile phones were also under attack and limits placed on the exemption. The new measures, which were introduced on April 6, 2006, will mean that only one tax-free mobile phone is available per employee. Thresholds and ratesThe VAT registration threshold was increased to £61,000 from April 1, 2006, and the de-registration threshold up to £59,000.The turnover limit for using the annual accounting scheme has been increased to £1.35m per year from April 1, 2006.How the Budget affects large firmsResearch & developmentThe government is extending the employee limits for a company to qualify as a small- to medium-sized enterprise, which will give these companies the ability to claim cash back from HMRC for R&D investment. The limit relating to company employees has been doubled from 250 to 500 employees. Companies that employ between 250 and 500 employees will be able to benefit by claiming a tax credit; previously they would only have been able to claim an additional deduction for the qualifying costs. These companies will now be able to surrender any losses for cash back at a rate of 24% of the underlying R&D investment. The time limit for making this claim will be two years from the end of the accounting period.Stamp duty reconstruction reliefStamp duty is broadly restricted to the transfer of shares. Currently, certain exemptions are available for companies carrying out reorganisation. Due to the strict conditions of these reliefs a slight change in shareholdings could result in stamp duty becoming payable. The provisions announced confirm that relief will not be denied, if the proportion of shares in the new entity has to change slightly for practical reasons. Stamp duty land tax (SDLT): withdrawal of unit trust seeding reliefThe Chancellor announced that SDLT relief for seeding unit trusts with property ended from 2pm on March 22, 2006. This move will prevent the relief contained within Section 64A Finance Act 2003 from being used to avoid SDLT on certain high-value commercial property transactions.This was not an entirely unexpected move by the Chancellor and it is, in some ways, surprising that HMRC did not move earlier in order to prevent the relief from being used in this way. The Treasury will have been aware, even before the introduction of the SDLT disclosure provisions, that literally billions of pounds of UK real estate interests were being transferred to offshore unit trusts in order to avoid a potential SDLT charge to purchasers on the acquisition of their interests. Employment-related securitiesThe attack on tax avoidance schemes using employment-related securities and options is continuing. Where an option is granted as part of a tax avoidance scheme, it will be taxed as though it was a convertible security. This means there will be an income tax charge on the grant of the option as well as on its exercise. The tax charge arising on the grant is calculated by taking the value of the option on the grant, ignoring any resting period and performance conditions. It is possible that the tax charge on the grant may be more than the value of the shares! The employee is taxed again when the option is exercised, but as though he had converted one security into another. Where the underlying shares are readily convertible, assets tax and national insurance contributions will also be due.A second provision strengthens the penalty regime on the operation of PAYE on employment-related securities and options. Where retrospective legislation has been enacted the employer must operate PAYE on the date that the retrospective legislation becomes law. Also, the employer must collect tax from the employee within 90 days of the enactment of the legislation. Failure to do so could result in the employee facing further tax as the unpaid amounts are treated as employment income. Paula Tallon is director and head of direct tax at Chiltern, email: [email protected] Fulcher, president of the National Association of Master Bakers, runs Lilleys Bakery, which has three shops in Essex. He was not impressed by the Budget. “The Chancellor hasn’t done much for anyone, unless they have children, and I’m quite surprised that he’s done nothing for OAPs.” Mr Fulcher added: “He’s put the threshold of inheritance tax up – I’d like to see that abolished entirely. People work hard and when businesses get passed down to children, shops have to be sold to pay the tax. That doesn’t seem right.” In terms of investment, Mr Fulcher said: “I don’t know of any business that has money kicking around for investment, so the changes the Chancellor has made won’t help. It seems that Mr Brown wants to become Prime Minister and so has tried not to offend anyone.”last_img read more

Jordans capitalises on trend

first_imgJordans Cereals is expanding its range of cereal bars with the new Nut & Seed Bar. The company says the launch is a result of increased popularity amongst consumers of nuts and seeds.Jordans Original Crunchy was the first cereal bar launched in the UK in 1980, claims the firm. The family-owned business, that celebrated its 150th anniversary last year, is now the third-largest brand in the £255 million cereal bar market, which is growing at almost 10% year on year, it says. The Nut & Seed Bar is packed with nuts and seeds for a healthy snack, and contains no artificial flavourings, colourings or preservatives and no hydrogenated fat.Clinton Orchard, marketing controller at Jordans says: “As well as natural wholegrain cereals the new bar contains 47% nuts and seeds. From a category perspective, the launch of this bar responds to a growing consumer trend as well as meeting key drivers for healthier products that taste good and can be eaten on the go.”The bar will be in-store from this month, with a TSP of £0.59, and comes in merchandisers of 15 x 33g bars.last_img read more

Ant and Dec’s cake challenge

first_imgStaff at the Little Venice Cake Company last week shared their cake-decorating expertise with TV stars Ant and Dec to help them face a live studio challenge.The presenters spent a day at the company’s London studio learning how to do hand piping and making chocolate roses to prepare them for last week’s Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway TV show.The training took place as part of the Ant versus Dec challenge to make a birthday cake for Sir Cliff Richard.The cakes were judged by celebrity chefs including Ainsley Harriott.last_img read more

Amano café chain to expand with a focus on bakery

first_imgThe theatre of baking is at the heart of the Amano café concept, which is to be rolled out across London and ultimately nationwide.Amano already has two outlets in London and has £2m of funding to launch a further four cafés in the capital in the next year.Operations director Ed Bentley told British Baker that after the London cafés are open he expects to launch a further 20 outlets around the country over three years. It has already agreed terms for a 2,500sq ft café near the Tate Modern art gallery in London and a site at the Broadmead Shopping Centre in Bristol, which will not open until 2008.Open 16 hours a day, Amano cafés offer sandwiches and snacks in the day, with an evening pizza and grill menu. Bread and pizza bases are baked from scratch by hand in-store in view of customers. “The oven is at the heart of the concept. We want to bring theatre to the front of house,” said Bentley.The baking process has been simplified so that one dough recipe is used for the bread, pizza bases and bread sticks served with the soup. A type of flat bread is made for the sandwiches using ’double O’ flour imported from Italy, extra virgin olive oil and a ’sourdough’ flavour from Puratos.The dough is proved at ambient temperatures for around three hours and baked off. Staff are trained by either Bentley or by other staff – a process that can take as little as five hours.Amano was set up in 2004 by Bentley and CEO Jonathan Cooper, who co-founded the EAT sandwich chain.last_img read more

CinnZeo rolls out

first_imgCanadian cinnamon roll bakery brand CinnZeo has opened its first franchise at the Spindles Shopping Centre in Oldham, Lancashire. The 55 sq metre bakery-cum café outlet will sell freshly-baked cinnamon rolls and there are plans to roll out a further six within the next year. Possible locations are The Arndale Shopping Centre in Manchester and Ashton-Under-Lyme.The mastermind behind the launch of CinnZeo in the UK is Deji Adetujoye, who already owns three franchised Subway outlets. Visitors to the new shop in Oldham will be able to watch the staff at work, rolling the dough and baking its range of products, which include a CinnaRoll – a cinnamon roll topped with cream cheese frosting.Franchised outlets have already been established in Canada, USA, Asia, the Middle East and South America.last_img read more

Spice rack: Lavender

first_imgFiona Burrell, co-author of Leiths Baking Bible, from Leiths School of Food and Wine Why not try adding some lavender to a chocolate cake recipe, as it goes very well with chocolate. Also, add a little lavender sugar to petticoat tails and sprinkle the top with a little more when it comes out of the oven.You could also try making individual shortbread biscuits substituting a third of the flour with ground rice and a quarter of the sugar with lavender sugar. A word of warning: a little goes a long way and the effect and taste is lovely, but too much and it will be too perfumed and overpowering. Lavender has been used as a culinary flavouring for several centuries, although it is probably closer to a herb than a spice. The French are known for their lavender syrup, made using extract of lavender, and lavender flowers can be candied or crystallised and used as decorations on cakes. For most recipes, use lavender sugar, which is caster sugar mixed with dried culinary lavender buds. Scones can be made using the usual recipe, but add a little lavender sugar. Make a lavender cake similar to a lemon drizzle by adding some lavender sugar to the recipe and to the syrup. Finally, pour over glacé icing that contains some dried lavender buds, or decorate the iced cake with crystallised lavender.last_img read more

Reporting in Is the industry making the most of the popularity wave?

first_imgIn a previous Reporting In column I highlighted the importance for the baking industry of creating ’Brand Baker’. In the piece I aired the view that the industry needed to raise its profile and, in some way, make it stand out from the multitude of careers available, so that the recruitment of new blood into the profession became that much easier.So, a couple of years down the road, where are we in relation to achieving a higher public profile for the industry? Well, there has certainly been more mainstream media attention paid to our noble craft. In particular, the series of programmes run on BBC 4 in 2010, as well as The Great British Bake Off and Baking Made Easy (aired on BBC2) has gone some way to generating greater interest in our profession.It is also heartening to see that certain elements of the industry have started to publicise the virtues of baking in other ways. National Craft Bakers’ Week, organised by the NAMB, appears to be showing some benefit in raising the profile of the high street baker. It is also encouraging to see that this initiative is actively working with schools, which makes sense, as they are now educating the next generation of career searchers.The move to differentiate ourselves from general catering and the raising of our wider profile, I would suggest, is under way. The questions I now pose are:1. How joined-up is our thinking around this whole issue?2. What industry-wide strategy is in place to build on the positive things that are happening already, so that the benefit is shared by all?It is only by the industry being united around these strategic issues that the full potential can be realised.last_img read more

FoB chairman addresses baking industry issues

first_img“We are in a highly competitive business, where long-term volume and value growth is a challenge,” said Federation of Bakers (FoB) chairman Mark Fairweather at the organisation’s annual lunch on 11 May.Fairweather, CEO of Allied Bakeries, spoke of the inflationary pressures fuelled by the rising price of commodities wheat, fuel, packaging, and other raw materials adding, “These costs are real and something we live with and have to manage; we must think long- as well as short-term.”The FoB has recently established a new Corporate Social Responsibility Working Group, which will look at areas such as the economic value of the bakery sector, the jobs and skills it offers and the carbon footprint of bread from field to plate, explained Fairweather. “It is early days but the emphasis will be to add value and not to duplicate what has been done elsewhere.”He summarised the work already done to reduce salt in plant bread, but warned that alternative bakery products could be eaten in substitution for bread, chosen by consumers because they were perceived to have a greater taste. He stressed that the consumer must be at the heart of its members’ thinking.Manufacturers and retailers needed to ensure they found ways to improve their offerings to drive incremental sales, he added.Fairweather also discussed the potential return of the issue of bread fortified with folic acid. While the FoB had always taken the view that it was not for them to decide the medical merits of folic acid fortification, he said, it would still like to be involved from the start if this were to be introduced.The £3bn plant baking industry, in retail sales value, employs 21,000 and supplies over 80% of the nation’s bread.last_img read more

Inside the final month of Buttigieg’s historic campaign

first_imgIndianaLocalNationalNewsSouth Bend Market Inside the final month of Buttigieg’s historic campaign Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg pauses before answering a question as he campaigns on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, in Nashua, N.H. (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm) WASHINGTON (AP) — He opened February by sharing victory with one of the Democratic Party’s best-known figures and ended it with a humbling defeat at the hands of another. Yet Pete Buttigieg’s unlikely path over the last 30 days exceeded virtually everyone’s expectations of his presidential ambitions, except perhaps his own.The former mayor of Indiana’s fourth largest city, an openly gay 38-year-old whose name most voters still can’t pronounce, formally suspended his White House bid Sunday night. He did so acknowledging that he no longer had a viable path to the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination, even after finishing in the top four in each of the first four contests of the 2020 primary season.“By every historical measure, we were never supposed to get anywhere at all,” Buttigieg reminded his hometown crowd, which was disappointed and hopeful at the same time. They interrupted his speech with chants of “2024.”Buttigieg began the month effectively in a first-place tie with progressive powerhouse Bernie Sanders in Iowa’s presidential caucuses. The mayor made history as the first openly gay candidate to earn a presidential delegate, never mind becoming the first to finish on top in any presidential primary contest.He won over Iowa as a fresh-faced Democrat with a pragmatic Midwestern message backed by an aggressive strategy to reach voters in overlooked rural communities. And if not for the state’s chaotic struggle to report its results, the Feb. 3 contest could have vaulted him to further heights.Buttigieg and his competitors pivoted quickly to New Hampshire, where he was a decided underdog in a field that featured two neighboring senators and a former vice president. Yet the mayor from nearly 1,000 miles away showed surprising strength again.He nearly tripled Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s vote total and finished just one percentage point behind Sanders, the winner.“You know, he very nearly pulled it off,” said David Axelrod, who served as the senior adviser to former President Barack Obama and was at times an unofficial Buttigieg booster.Axelrod cited Iowa’s reporting fiasco and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar New Hampshire surge as key factors that limited Buttigieg’s rise.“If those two things would have been different, we would be having a different conversation now,” he said.Questions about Buttigieg’s appeal with voters of color loomed over strong finishes in overwhelmingly white Iowa and New Hampshire, however. And as soon as the race shifted into more diverse terrain, Buttigieg’s star began to fade.In Nevada, he finished in third place behind Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, even as he bested two senators and a billionaire. And by the time the race moved to South Carolina a week later, Buttigieg’s weakness with African-American voters was painfully exposed.He failed to hit double digits in the first-in-the-South contest on Saturday, scoring a distant fourth place in a state in which more than half of Democratic primary voters were not white. Less than two hours after holding what would be his final rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, Buttigieg was hunkered on the phone in a hotel near Americus, Georgia, working out the details of ending his campaign, people familiar with the conversation said.On the phone with him were communications strategist Lis Smith, senior strategist Michael Halle, pollster Katie Connolly, media adviser Larry Grisalano, deputy campaign manager Hari Sevugan and longtime campaign manager Mike Schmul, according to aides familiar with the conversation who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share internal discussions.Having laid out a narrow but viable path to the nomination through an uncertain state-by-state fight, advisers painted a picture of a difficult road ahead.After someone interjected that Buttigieg should speak, the candidate, known for an understated deliberative style, noted effectively that if the conversation had reached that point the decision was pretty clear.Though there were details to work out about how to handle his appearances on Sunday news programs, the conversation quickly turned to the logistics of pulling down his Texas campaign events scheduled for Sunday and how to arrange for the speech in South Bend.When discussion during the call turned to a possible endorsement, the team decided it might detract from what was a speech heavy with references to Buttigieg’s ground-breaking campaign and his eye on the future.It marked a humbling end to a history-making month for the young Democrat, who could wait another 10 presidential elections to run again and still be the same age as the man who knocked him out of the race.Buttigieg’s decision reflected the urgency of the moment as establishment Democrats feared Sanders’ rise might be unstoppable unless the party’s moderate wing united behind Biden’s candidacy. It also reflected the no-time-to-waste analytical nature of Buttigieg himself, a former Rhodes scholar who worked for the McKinsey & Company management consulting firm soon after finishing his Ivy League education.“The truth is the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” Buttigieg told supporters in South Bend. “We must recognize that at this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and country together.”He didn’t endorse any of the six candidates still in the race, though he and Biden traded voicemails on Sunday. Buttigieg has spent the past several weeks warning that nominating Sanders would be risky.And as the first openly gay candidate to seriously contend for the presidency, he nodded to the historic nature of his campaign. He kissed his husband, Chasten, as he walked onto the stage and offered a message for children who might be watching.“We send a message to every kid out there wondering if whatever marks them out as different means they are somehow destined to be less than,” Buttigieg said. “To see that someone who once felt that exact same way can become a leading American presidential candidate with his husband by his side.”Meanwhile, Axelrod said “the Pete Buttigieg story isn’t over.”“He’s 38 years old,” the former Obama strategist said. “He’s vaulted himself into the national conversation. He obviously has work to do on some things that — some weaknesses we’ve seen in this election — but whenever there is a conversation again about Democratic candidates, he’ll be in that conversation. And that’s a remarkable achievement, given where he started a year ago.” Facebook Facebook Google+ Twitter WhatsApp Previous articleBarnaby’s Pizza Mishawaka location for saleNext articleElkhart Police update pursuit policy Associated PressNews from the Associated Press and its network of reporters and publications. Pinterest Twitter Google+ By Associated Press – March 2, 2020 2 1018 WhatsApp Pinterestlast_img read more

Local unemployment rate continue post-pandemic drop

first_img Local unemployment rate continue post-pandemic drop Twitter Facebook Google+ By Jon Zimney – September 22, 2020 0 220 WhatsApp IndianaLocalNews “3D Employment Graph” by Chris Potter, CC BY-SA 2.0 The unemployment rate in St. Joseph County is back down to single digits.The jobless rate for August came in at 8.2 percent, down two points from July.St. Joseph and LaPorte Counties are both in the Top Five for unemployment in the state.Elkhart County’s rate also dropped two points to 6.1 percent for the month. That’s below the statewide rate of 6.4 percent. Google+ WhatsApp Pinterest Pinterest Facebook Twitter Previous articleGasbuddy: Pump prices likely steady, unless hurricanes interfereNext articleMosquito spraying to ward off EEE set for Tuesday in Elkhart County Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney.last_img read more