News in brief: Scotland, banking, email marketing

News in brief
News in brief

First Minister praises Scottish SMEs

Scotland can’t succeed without small businesses, according to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. This is the message she is due to give at the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) National Conference in Glasgow.

Ahead of the event, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, said: “The Scottish Government is committed to supporting our small businesses as their success is so integral to the success of the economy.

“The Scottish Government will continue to champion small businesses and their capacity for sustainable and inclusive growth. Since we introduced the Small Business Bonus Scheme in 2008, the amount of money being saved by businesses every year has more than doubled. This means that almost 100,000 business premises in Scotland now pay zero or reduced rates under this scheme alone.”

Sturgeon says that small businesses are the “beating heart” of Scotland’s communities and a driving force in its economy, and that the FSB and the government can work together to cement this.

OakNorth ups its interest rates

OakNorth, a bank for entrepreneurs, has increased the interest rates on its fixed term savings accounts to meet demand for business loans from growth companies, as well as property development and investment loans.

The move comes just four months after the bank received a £66m equity capital injection, demonstrating the high levels of demand OakNorth is seeing for its lending products.

Growth companies create over two thirds of new jobs in Britain and OakNorth is targeting interest rate sensitive savers who would like to support these businesses via the bank’s range of fixed term deposits accounts. The bank’s 12, 15, 24 and 30 month fixed-term deposits, have interest rates of 1.62%, 1.66%, 1.92% and 1.99% respectively, with minimum deposits of £1,000 and a maximum of £100,000. Up to £75,000 of deposits for each saver are protected by the Government’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The rise of the Olderpreneurs

This latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) Labour Market Statistics are likely to show that the number of entrepreneurs aged over 50 (or Olderpreneurs) will top two million for the first time.

The ONS Labour Force Survey (in 2014) also showed that the number of self-employed people over the age of 50 had increased by over a fifth (21 per cent) in just six years (from 2008).

With the Labour Party Report published earlier this month finding that many people are saving too little for their retirement, it is widely predicted that an increasing number of older workers will decide to make their own way in the business world. As a result there will be an even steeper increase in the number of over 50s starting up in business, according to Clifton Asset Management.

Email marketing goes from strength to strength

Email marketing is on the rise, with all with open, click-through and click-to-open rates all increasing and unsubscribe and unsubscribe-to-open rates both decreasing over the past 12 months.

This is according to email marketing software provider Sign-Up.to, which also found that Legal/Accounting and TV/Radio/Film sectors topped the list as the brands most likely to encourage people to open their marketing emails, while the government sector reported the highest click-through rates.

This latest study, based on an extensive analysis of over one billion emails across 29 industry sectors, ranked email marketing campaigns using a range of performance metrics including email opens, clicks and delivery rates.