engage magazine issue 003 \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'07 - Page 10

10 NEWS FOCUS News Asian food company wins major contract A food company has signed a six-figure contract with the National Health Service to supply its Halal baby food to hospitals all over the UK. The Bradford-based restaurant and food supplier will supply the baby food to hospitals on a supply and demand basis. The company has already filled an initial order after negotiating the deal following a rise in interest by health authorities up and down the UK. The baby food range – Mumtaz Baby - was started 12 months ago and is already being sold in Morrisons, Tesco, Boots, Asda, Co-op and Lloyds pharmacy. The foods sparked interest among maternity and paediatric units, wanting to offer Muslim and non-Muslim mothers an ethical, Halal alternative pre-prepared baby food. The business is now trying to enter foreign markets, including France and the Middle East, following its success. Millions to be accessed by London businesses An event to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in London and those that need to source funding for their clients’ business is being held later this month. Held on Tuesday, February 27 at Barclays Headquarters in Canary Wharf the aim of the event – hosted by the London Society of Chartered Accountants (LSCA) with support from The London Development Agency – is to give business owners, entrepreneurs, and business advisers crucial information on gaining financial support from a range of grants that are available to a number of businesses. The grants will be both for new start-ups and already established businesses. Information on Department for Trade and Industry schemes for research and development will also be available at the event, which is free. For further information contact the London Society of Chartered Accountants (LSCA) on telephone number: 020 7920 8100. Growth outlook positive for UK small businesses Small and medium-sized businesses in England are more confident about their future growth than their European counterparts, says a new survey. According to a report commissioned by GE Commercial Finance nearly a third of small and mediumsized firms in England are confident that their annual sales growth over the next year will be in excess of 10%, Meanwhile only 13% of companies in Germany, and 15% in France, think their annual sales will grow at more than 10%. Economic constraints and increased competition were found to be the biggest factors for UK firms when considering their growth prospects, affecting over half the companies surveyed. Small firms wasting time due to poor IT decisions Poor purchasing decisions are forcing small business owners to spend increasing amounts of time dealing with IT-related issues, a new survey has revealed. The survey, conducted by BT Business, found that 93% of small firms are investing ‘worryingly low’ amounts of time and financial investment into IT and communications. Almost half of small businesses are not making regular health checks of their IT equipment, which could lead to long-term inefficiencies and problems, according to BT Business. A previous report by BT Business found that 75% of small business directors are personally responsible for making technology-buying decisions, with half also responsible for maintenance of the equipment. uk | engage ISSUE THREE 2007