Leicester Futures Christmas

On the 8th December the Torr Waterfield team was invited to a night of whiskey and rum tasting at the very chic Manhattan 34. Rachel Priestley, Mike Waterfield and I answered the call of the Futures Network. This was one last meet up for all members of the Futures Network before everyone went off to enjoy their Christmas and New Year.


As expected it was a slightly smaller turn out than previous Futures event due to Christmas being around the corner. With 40 attendees there was defiantly no shortage of people to chat and mingle with. A few new faces came along and were instantly welcomed. One new member commented on how relaxed the whole evening felt, with no pressure to sell yourself or business. This is a place a swap ideas, not business cards! Manhattan 34 was the perfect setting for such an event being Leicester’s coolest bar in the cultural quarter while feeling welcoming and warm from the cold outside. I love the unwavering dedication to the 30’s with jazz music and staff in fedoras. I especially love that Manhattan 34 are able to pull this look off without looking cheesy or being gimmicky.


Michael Goodchild, founder of the Futures Network opened with a speech on plans for the Futures Network for 2012. An exciting announcement was also made by Michael about setting up an online viral marketing campaign which will feature professionals from the Futures Network. He welcomed any suggestions and help from everyone interested. On offer for tasting for the evening were Auchentoshan, Amarula and Patron. Each unique in scent and flavour, they all proved to be very popular but the Amarula was my personal favourite with a warm, almost spicy flavour, perfect for season with sweet fruity aftertaste. It was obvious from the start that there would be multiple tastings of each with many keeping within arms reach of the table for more! Having now been to three Futures events there are people I am starting to become familiar with, who I would never have before had the opportunity. I was surprised when people were coming over to say hello as they remembered me from previous events


We all look forward to seeing what The Futures Network will bring to Leicester in the New Year!

To view all of the pictures from the event go to our Facebook group and click ‘Like’ to see what we got up to!




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Autumn Statement – What it means for SMEs

On the 29th November an updated forecast was published by the Office of Budget Responsibility on the UK economy. This was followed up by a statement from Chancellor George Osborne later that same day in the House of Commons.


It has been a few days since these announcements and you have had time to absorb everything. Still a little confused on how it is relevant to you and your business?


Determined to help, we have compiled some key points that will affect the SME around Leicestershire.


The Autumn Statement lays out an action plan by which the Government aims to;

–         Protect the economy

–         Build a stronger economy for the future.


There are three major areas that are going to affect SME;


Availability of Credit

Employment regulations and

Youth contracts


Credit –

The government is hoping to increase the amount of credit available to small businesses. The government will be contributing £20 billion to the National Loan Guarantee Scheme and another £1 billion to the Business Finance Partnership. It is hoped this will encourage banks to reduce the cost of borrowing for SMEs.


Employment regulations –

The government is also changing employment regulations to make it easier to let staff go which some worry that may become a culture of hiring and firing.


There will be research into reducing the complexity redundancy processes for companies with more than 100 employees down to 60, 45 or even 30 days where possible. The government also want to look at ways of making tribunals cheaper and quicker with very simple cases going through a ‘Rapid Resolution’ programme.


Youth Contracts –

With new figures of youth unemployment emerging at over one million the government are now giving incentives to businesses that take on young people. These include;


–         Wage incentives for 160,000 young people so private sector businesses can afford to take on more staff

–         Aiming to create 40,000 apprentice places through cash incentives for small businesses.


Of course this is a very brief summary and if there is anything you are unsure about or if you want advice on how to improve your business call us on our FREE phone number 0800 652 1614.