New TaxAssist Accountants shop opens in Bury, Greater Manchester

November 26, 2019

Balaji Krishnamurthy launches small business tax and accounting service from 91 Bolton Road, Bury

Balaji Krishnamurthy, joined the TaxAssist Accountants network in September, and has already sourced and fitted out his welcoming shop ready to meet with clients.

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“I was very lucky to spot the ideal shop, in the ideal location so quickly,” explained Balaji. “It ticks all the boxes in terms of being highly visible and accessible and offers plenty of parking. I would encourage all small businesses owners and individual taxpayers in the area to pop in for a free initial consultation to learn more about our services.”

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Balaji worked in the financial services sector for a number of years, initially in investment banking, before moving onto audit work with a Big 4 company where he qualified as an accountant.

“I extensively researched opportunities available to me for the next step in my career,” stated Balaji”. “I was keen to operate my own practice and found TaxAssist to be the perfect match for my aspirations. I am able to run my own accountancy practice while at the same time being a part of one of the largest accountancy groups in the country with a well-established brand name.

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“I have a broad range of experience working with companies of all sizes, but it is small businesses that I am passionate about and I am looking forward to adding value to these businesses in my local area.”

Balaji’s shop joins an established network of over 225 TaxAssist Accountants shops nationwide.

TaxAssist represents voice of small businesses at meeting with Chancellor of the Exchequer

November 26, 2019

On Thursday 21st November Karl Sandall, Chief Executive Director of The TaxAssist Group, met with Sajid Javid and raised a number of issues concerning the small business community.

Sajid Javid, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, was in Norwich on 21st November and took the opportunity to visit the TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre to meet Directors and Senior Managers to learn more about the concerns of small businesses.

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“It was a very worthwhile meeting, during which we discussed a number of really important issues”, said Karl.

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“The TaxAssist Accountants network of over 350 shops and offices looks after the needs of more than 75,000 small businesses across the country, and we used the time we had with the Chancellor to highlight a number of key concerns on their behalf:

  • IR35 and the changes scheduled for April 2020
  • The disproportionate costs and impact of compliance on small businesses
  • The advantage online businesses have compared to the high street as a result of the business rates system which is in need of a review to ensure a more even playing field
  • The lack of tax incentives for small businesses and the proposed cap for Research & Development tax credits which will hit innovative small businesses
  • The future for inheritance tax following ministers’ comments surrounding it’s future
  • The lack of support available to small businesses to help them comply with Making Tax Digital, such as access to compliant software and good internet speeds
  • The current arrangements for apprenticeship funding, which don’t help small business owners nurture new talent

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“We are proud to represent small businesses, the ‘lifeblood’ of the UK economy and we will take every opportunity we get to speak up for their needs and concerns,” added Karl.

Jamie Oliver restaurants to expand abroad despite UK collapse

November 25, 2019

Jamie Oliver’s restaurant empire will expand abroad in 2020 despite the collapse of the celebrity chef’s UK-based business earlier this year.

The Jamie Oliver Group, which is separate from the UK-based group that collapsed in May, said that international franchisees plan to open 21 new Jamie Oliver-branded restaurants by the end of next year.

The news comes after the group announced that it would launch a new mid-range restaurant chain, known as Jamie Oliver Kitchen.

The chain will focus on all-day dining and will offer dishes that reflect the local cuisine. Two Jamie’s Italian outlets, one in Bali and the other in Bangkok, will be converted into Jamie Oliver Kitchen restaurants.

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A further 19 restaurants will be opened by the end of 2020, meaning that the international group will have more than 90 restaurants in more than 25 markets around the world.

These restaurants are generally run by franchisees, who pay to operate restaurants under the Jamie Oliver brand.

The UK-based Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group collapsed into administration in May, forcing the loss of 1,000 jobs and the closure of all but three of his restaurants in the country.

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Oliver said he was “devastated” and “saddened” by what had happened.

Trouble had been brewing for the UK group for some time, and the chef had been forced to inject millions of his own money to save it from bankruptcy.

The chain had repeatedly blamed the challenges facing the casual dining sector — such as high rents, business rates, and high street woes — and had even pointed to the “pressures and unknowns” of Brexit.

In August, he told a magazine that his empire would not have collapsed if it had been comprised of “posh” restaurants, arguing that the UK was “very good at nourishing the rich.”

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“If I’d have spent 13 years opening posh restaurants, I could assure you they’d all be open today,” he said.

In a statement about the new international openings, Oliver said: “Over the past 20 years, I have travelled around the world to discover exciting flavour combinations, picking up incredible influences along the way.

“The new restaurants will bring those inspirations to life and serve some of my absolute all-time favourites.”

By Edmund Heaphy

Source: Yahoo Finance UK

Pink Spaghetti celebrates first decade in business

November 25, 2019

A virtual PA business set up in Hartford and now based at Winnington Hall in Northwich has celebrated its tenth year in business.

Pink Spaghetti PA Services was established by friends Caroline Gowing and Vicky Matthews in 2009. The duo wanted to create a business that would allow them to achieve a better work-life balance.

Such was the popularity of their business which supported small business owners with secretarial, organisational and other tasks, such as social media, that the pair decided to franchise the business.

Speaking about this, Caroline said, “Our services were very much in demand in the local area and we felt that by following a franchise model we could extend the reach of what we were offering across the UK.”

The first franchise was sold in 2012, in Hampshire, and there are now 40 Pink Spaghettis in operation.

Picking up the story, Vicky said, “Both Caroline and I had corporate careers demanding long hours and business travel. It just didn’t fit with family life and so we set up Pink Spaghetti to allow us to take back control.

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“We knew that there would be many women who were caught in the same corporate trap; professionals who wanted a career but wanted it on their terms and who wanted to build their own business.

“A franchise business gives people the best of both worlds – independence but with the support of a proven business model and a network of like-minded individuals who become your work colleagues – without working in the same office!”

The business has collected a number of awards and are the only PA services company to feature in the Elite Franchise Top 100, a listing of the country’s leading franchise businesses. They were also named as winner of the Working Mums Franchise Award for Innovation 2018.

By Charlotte Gribbin

Source: BDaily

Subway store first in Wirral to undergo ‘Fresh Forward’ makeover

November 24, 2019

A WIRRAL Subway branch is one of the first in the borough to be revamped to the company’s new ‘Fresh Forward’ design.

The Townfield Lane branch reopened this weekend after undergoing a makeover to become Subway’s first new-look Fresh Forward store in Wirral.

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Now customers can enjoy new features such as digital menu boards, special displays for cookies, bread baked in store daily and freshly cut vegetables.

To celebrate the re-opening, Subway franchise owner Anthony Deegan revealed that he will run a grand re-opening sale on Saturday, November 23 where all customers can buy a large drink for £1.60 and get a free six-inch Sub.

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Anthony told the Globe: “We are delighted with the store and to be the first in the area to feature the new look design which offers customers more of what they love about Subway – highlighting our bread baked daily in store, cookies and our fresh veggies.

“We hope to see lots of our customers this week with people taking advantage of our fantastic grand opening sale offer next Saturday.”

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The Townfield Lane store also delivers via Just Eat and Deliveroo.

By Lauren Jones

Source: Wirral Globe

Quick Lane opens new tyre and autocentre in Colchester

November 24, 2019

Quick Lane has opened a tyre and autocentre in Colchester.

The new facility covers 6,000 sq ft and is situated on Peartree Road Retail Park, close to Colchester town centre.

It is the fourth franchised centre to open in the UK this year.

Quick Lane currently has more than 15 sites across the UK.

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The franchise has ambitious expansion plans that will see it continue to grow its footprint throughout Europe over the next few years.

John Dines, UK operations director, Quick Lane said: “Our new Colchester Quick Lane centre is situated in an ideal location with high retail footfall.

“It fits with our mission to provide convenience with confidence, delivering highly professional and transparent automotive servicing and maintenance that fits around our customers’ busy lives.

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“By employing the very best local talent to offer a seamless customer journey, we are proving that Quick Lane really is brilliant at the basics.”

Stuart Foulds, chairman and chief executive of TrustFord, added: “We fully support the Quick Lane ethos to provide professional service and maintenance repair services with high availability and easy accessibility.

“Our Colchester centre is ideally located for motorists, allowing them to combine vehicle servicing with other important daily duties, in a convenient and hassle-free way.”

Posted by: Ellis Davies

Source: Motor Trader

UK prepared food chain Pret a Manger eyes Israel

November 22, 2019

Pret a Manger is in talks with Israel’s largest restaurant group Café Café, which seeks to open 70 branches in Israel.

The Café Café group, controlled by Ronen Nimni, is negotiating to bring UK prepared food chain Pret a Manger chain to Israel, sources inform “Globes.” The group believes that it is worthwhile opening 50-70 branches nationwide of 100 square meters each. As in Pret a Manger’s model elsewhere, each branch will have a rear kitchen and seating for eating on the premises.

Pret a Manger is a coffee and sandwiches chain with over 500 branches and annual sales turnover of £880 million. The chain, managed by Pano Christou, operates in the US, Europe, China, Hong Kong, Dubai, and Singapore. Like other international chains, Pret a Manger has self-service shelves for hot food and refrigerators. The customers themselves collect the products and go to the cashier only to pay.

Café Café, currently the largest restaurant chain in Israel, operates 15 brands. Its annual revenue turnover is NIS 200 million, and it mostly uses a franchise model with 300 sales points. Until now, the group has operated with two methods: chains that it initiated and founded by itself, and chains that it has acquired fully or in partnership. Prominent chains in the group include Café Café, Fresh, Ruben, Hasushia, Lehem Erez, Kaspi, Nagisa, Sahbak, and others.

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In recent months, Café Café considered the option of cooperating with Starbucks, Pret a Manger’s competitor, but the negotiations were unsuccessful, and it appears that Café Café has more faith in Pret a Manger’s format. In contrast to Starbucks, which sells mainly products for consumption on the road on a format of coffee with pastry or a sandwich, Pret a Manger offers real ready meals with an option of eating them hot sitting on the premises. Purchases at Pret a Manger are larger.

The Israeli restaurant sector has become crowded and cutthroat in recent years, with businesses that are not part of a chain or large group finding it difficult to survive. The challenges in the coffee and restaurant sector have made even more acute by regulatory changes, an increase in the minimum wage, the bottle deposit law, the waiter tips taxation law, and the crackdown on foreign workers.

Alongside these difficulties, however, the demand for restaurant businesses in shopping malls and commercial centers has risen dramatically in recent years as a result of the crisis in the fashion industry, which has seen chains collapse and tenants leave, resulting in a great deal of empty space. Shopping mall owners are therefore pursuing the large restaurant chains and offering them substantial partnerships in building branches. This has made costs of expansion lower than in the past, certainly for large players seeking to establish a chain in a short time.

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In recent years, many chains in the Israeli market have tried to develop concepts inspired by Pret a Manger, but none of them has really taken hold. “Globes” recently reported that Rami Levy was trying out a new format, inspired by the ready meals concept at Pret a Manger, in branches of the Super Cofix chain that he acquired.

Pret a Manger was acquired for £1.5 billion by the Reimann family from Germany through JAB Holding, its investment fund. Six months ago, Pret a Manger acquired Eat, a rival coffee chain in London.

Café Café said, “We are Israel’s largest restaurant group, with over 300 cafes and restaurants nationwide under 15 leading brands. The group assesses business proposals from time to time, and neither confirms nor denies reports about its business policy.”

By Shany Moses

Source: Globes

Cheshire children’s unconventional fundraiser earns huge sum for local charity

November 22, 2019

A swimming team from Cheshire, Puddle Ducks, has raised a huge amount of money for a children’s charity.

Puddle Ducks Mid Cheshire has raised over £1,000 for charity Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT) after completing its annual charity swim.

To make the feat even more impressive, the swimmers do it all in their pyjamas.

It is part of the PJ week, which raises awareness and money for different charities and CAFT benefitted massively from the effort.

Helping the terminally ill, disabled and disadvantaged children, the charity is based in a 17th century farmhouse and gives them a chance to play, laugh and be children.

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Rachel Bateson, franchise manager of Puddle Ducks Mid Cheshire, commented: “PJ Week is great fun and we are so glad that we have been able to support CAFT.

“It is a great charity which was chosen by our little swimmers.

“Swimming in pyjamas shows our swimmers that they will feel heavier, but that they are still be able to do the important lifesaving manoeuvres like kicking to the surface and reaching for safety.”

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Puddle Ducks swim at at Delamere Forest School, DW Fitness Macclesfield, DW Fitness Warrington, Holiday Inn Runcorn, Sandbach Boys School, Seashell Trust Hydro Pool, Seashell Trust Main Pool and Weaverham Pool.

For more information about Puddle Ducks Mid Cheshire visit here .

By Liam Beard – Live News Reporter

Source: Cheshire Live

Regency Cleaning Services in £2.5 million takeover by Ecocleen

November 21, 2019

A FAMILY-based cleaning business that operates across the Thames Valley has been taken over.

Slough-based Owen White Solicitors recently acted as legal advisors to Ecocleen Services Ltd, in their purchase of Henley-based Regency Cleaning Services in a deal worth up to £2.5 million. The successful takeover will enable the company to increase its presence within key sectors – most notably education and motor retail, while expanding its nationwide franchise network.

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Ecocleen has more than 25 years’ experience of developing and implementing tailored commercial cleaning solutions. The franchise handles contracts of all sizes on behalf of more than 600 customers, servicing both single and multi-site operations on a local, regional and national basis.

Regency Cleaning Services operates throughout Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, supporting more than 100 clients. The company’s team of 500 staff are responsible for delivering cleaning, waste management, porterage and maintenance services to a variety of private and public sector sites such as schools, nurseries, offices and car showrooms.

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Andrew Hayward, head of Owen White’s corporate and commercial team, said: “This was a particularly rewarding transaction to work on with our longstanding client Ecocleen Services Ltd.

“As is often the case, there were one or two wrinkles that needed ironing out along the way. “The pragmatism and commerciality of our client was enormously helpful, enabling us to achieve a very satisfactory result all round.”

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Jean-Henri Beukes, managing director of Ecocleen, said: “Regency Cleaning Services is a likeminded and profitable business that will immediately strengthen a number of existing franchisees while helping us create new franchise areas.

“This is the first of a number of strategic acquisitions we are planning as we look to accelerate our growth within the UK. We are seeking further opportunities in London, the South-East, South-West and North-West, which will add value and expertise to our business and existing infrastructure.”

By John Wakefield

Source: Wokingham Paper

TaxAssist Accountants awarded 5-Star franchisee satisfaction for 7th consecutive year

November 21, 2019

TaxAssist joins a select group of only four franchisors in receiving the award for seven years running.

TaxAssist Accountants has once again been awarded 5-star franchisee satisfaction from WorkBuzz following positive feedback from its network of more than 200 franchisees.

This led it to receiving above the average benchmark results for key areas of the survey which inform the final Franchise Satisfaction Benchmark report. These include training and support, franchise system, culture and relationships, leadership and general satisfaction.

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The satisfaction benchmark is provided by WorkBuzz, a leading independent franchise consultancy. It works by inviting existing franchisees to participate in an anonymous online survey, which asks them 29 questions about their franchise ownership experience.

Using a consistent methodology, the franchise is assigned an overall satisfaction benchmark score and the highest performing franchisors are recognised at the Best Franchise Awards.

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Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive Director at TaxAssist Accountants, said: “It was a pleasure to once again read so many positive comments from our franchisees, which allowed us to achieve this prestigious accolade for the seventh year in a row.

“We are extremely proud of the successful TaxAssist business model and the support we provide and receiving 5-star franchisee satisfaction is testament to the hard work of our dedicated team, which has now grown to 60 at the Support Centre in Norwich.

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“We will not be resting on our laurels as we have read all of the comments in detail and we will consider and address any issues or suggestions made.”

For more information about WorkBuzz and the Best Franchise Awards please visit