Small Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. -

Small Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. - lehighvalleylive.comSmall Business Saturday draws 40+ Lehigh Valley participants. Here are their deals. - lehighvalleylive.comPosted: 30 May 2020 05:22 AM PDT More than 40 Lehigh Valley small business owners Saturday will be offering virtual deals on what they say will be one of their biggest shopping sales annually.Small Business Saturday typically is timed for following Black Friday in November. The nationwide effort for the past decade encourages communities to shop local as it kicks off the busiest shopping season of the year.The chamber is moving this year to hold the event twice -- this time with social distancing -- as many businesses struggle to survive financially during the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses to close their doors on March 19. Restaurants were then forced to offer menu items by takeout only with curbside pickup or delivery.Lehigh Val…

Small business taxes could be simplified under new proposals - Simply Business knowledge

Small business taxes could be simplified under new proposals - Simply Business knowledge

Small business taxes could be simplified under new proposals - Simply Business knowledge

Posted: 20 May 2019 10:09 AM PDT

A new report urges the government to simplify small business taxation. Could we soon see the current raft of business taxes replaced with a single levy?

Current taxes are too taxing

Running a business in the UK can feel fraught with bureaucracy, and the range of small business taxes can seem bewildering. Small businesses currently have to contend with corporation tax, business rates, VAT, and employer National Insurance rates.

If you feel like navigating all of these levies is overly complicated, you're not the only one. Three quarters of small businesses say that the current tax regime is too complicated, according to a study by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS). Apparently, the average small business loses three working weeks a year to the demands of tax compliance.

Partly as a result of this overly complicated tax system, the majority of small businesses (62 per cent) don't feel that the government is on their side.

The CPS report — written by Nick King, a former special adviser at the government's Business Department and endorsed by West Midlands mayor Andy Street — goes on to make some suggestions for how the government could get back on the side of small business.

The Simple Consolidated Tax

At the heart of the report is the idea that companies with a revenue of under £1 million should be given the option to replace the current range of levies and taxes with a single tax on turnover: the Simple Consolidated Tax (SCT).

The SCT would be voluntary, so that any firm that would be worse off under the new system could stick with the old system of business taxation. Modelling has shown that it would be revenue-neutral for the Treasury, at a rate of approximately 12.5 per cent. The CPS suggests that it could be phased in gradually.

It looks like the SCT would go down well with small businesses: almost three quarters (72 per cent) said they would move to the new, simpler system if they had to pay the same amount of tax. Meanwhile, more than a quarter said they'd opt for the simpler system even if it meant paying more tax.

A boon for small business?

Report author Nick King, Head of Business at the Centre for Policy Studies, argues that the SCT "removes the need for the overwhelming amounts of paperwork and makes life so much simpler for small business owners". He encourages the current government to take up the proposal, claiming it would show "it is truly backing small business and small business owners."

The report claims that simplification of the system would benefit both business owners and the wider economy. The CPS calculates that if 250,000 companies opted in to the SCT, the total administration saving could amount to £450 million. And if business owners were able to devote just 10 per cent more of their time to helping their companies grow, £4.7bn could be added to the economy.

Andy Street, Conservative mayor of the West Midlands and former managing director of John Lewis, has thrown his backing behind the SCT idea, saying:

"I strongly urge the Government to examine the central recommendation, The Simple Consolidated Tax, which would offer a significant simplification of the tax landscape for small firms."

Will the SCT happen?

At the moment, this is just a proposal, and it remains to be seen whether the government will pursue the idea.

However, the report was welcomed by Home Secretary Sajid Javid, who said:

"This report shows how bureaucracy and paperwork are stifling the growth of our small businesses and offers a series of compelling ideas for how Government can roll back the tide and show that the Conservatives are backing entrepreneurs."

An endorsement from the West Midlands mayor and positive noises from the Home Secretary could mean that the proposal receives some serious consideration at government level.  

Other changes that could benefit small businesses

As well as the central SCT proposal, Nick King also makes a range of other suggestions for how the government could improve things for small businesses.

He argues that the government should also simplify the registration process for new companies, provide a more sympathetic set of financing options for smaller firms, and introduce an Employer's National Insurance and PAYE holiday for all new hires made by businesses with eight or fewer existing employees.

Read the full report

The full CPS report "Think Small: A Blueprint for Supporting UK small businesses" is well worth a read. You can download it for free on the CPS website. What do you think about these proposals? Do you think a simpler tax scheme would make a big difference to your business? Tell us in the comments.

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50 Service Business Ideas - Small Business Trends

Posted: 18 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

If you love serving others, you may be interested in starting your very own service business. There are opportunities in nearly every industry in niche, from tech to fashion. So no matter your interests or area of expertise, you can find a service business that is well suited to your strengths. Here are 50 service business ideas to consider.

Service Business Ideas

Business Consulting

If you have business experience, you could work with other entrepreneurs to provide guidance and expertise as a consultant.

Graphic Design

For those who are visually inclined, you can offer services for designing logos, branding and paper products for businesses or individuals.

Web Design

A bit more of a tech focused business, offer design and/or development services for those looking to create their own websites.

Mobile App Development

An emerging business opportunity, those with the skills and training can work with businesses or individuals to help them create their own mobile applications.


Writers, offer your services to businesses looking for website, ad or marketing copy.

Advertising Service

For those with advertising experience, offer to work with businesses to help them create ad campaigns, track progress and get results.

Digital Marketing

You could also go with a more generalized set of offerings, including content marketing, social media or online ads.

Lead Generating

For sales professionals, offer to help businesses by gathering leads for potential sales.

Printing Service

If you have some printing equipment, you could offer to print flyers, invitations, posters or other custom paper goods for people in your area.

IT Service

For tech focused entrepreneurs, offer your services to businesses on a contractual basis or just offer on-demand support for a small fee.

Event Planning

If you have strong organizational and planning skills, work with clients to create unique weddings or special events.

Life Coaching

If you prefer working with people on an individual basis and offering a wide variety of tips and expertise, you could offer your services as a life coach.

Virtual Assistant Service

For those who would prefer to start a completely online business, virtual assistants can help business clients with everything from inbox cleanout to social media.


You could also help other business owners manage their financial books and documentation as a contract bookkeeping service.

Research Service

If you have strong research skills, offer to work with clients who are looking to learn more about a particular subject.

Translation Service

Those who are fluent in more than one language can offer a service that translates books, transcripts or other types of content.

Handyman Service

Handyman services can offer a wide array of services to property owners, from installing light fixtures to fixing broken equipment.

Automotive Repair

If you prefer working with automobiles, there are plenty of repair services you can offer for drivers in your area.

Car Washing and Detailing

You could also offer to wash and/or detail vehicles for a small fee. Do this out of your own space or as a mobile service business.

Transportation Service

Another mobile business idea, offer to drive clients from place to place, either on a contractual or on-demand basis.


If you have the proper training and equipment, start a plumbing business where you provide maintenance, repair and installations services.

HVAC Service

You also need some basic training to provide heating, cooling and ventilation service. But this can be another lucrative service business.

Electrician Service

Another skilled trade, electricians can offer a wide array of services for both residential and commercial properties.

Locksmith Service

As a locksmith, you can help people who are locked out of their home or vehicle, and install locks, make copies of keys and offer a number of other lock related services.

Appliance Repair

Appliance repair professionals help people fix issues with refrigerators, washers, ovens and any other home appliance that may be broken but not worth replacing fully.


If you enjoy spending time outside, you could offer landscaping services like lawn mowing, flower bed installation and gardening.

House Painting

Help homeowners transform their interior or exterior space by offering your services as a professional home painter.

Home Inspecting

People who are purchasing homes often have professional inspectors look over the property first to ensure there aren't any unknown issues with the property.

Moving Service

You could also help people moving into new homes by packing and/or transporting their belongings.

Home Staging

For those who love designing interior spaces, work with home sellers or realtors to stage spaces so that they're more attractive to potential buyers.

Fitness Training

If you're a health and fitness enthusiast, you might start a business as a personal trainer where you work with clients individually.

Massage Therapy

With the proper training, you could offer massage therapy services.


If education is your specialty, work with students one-on-one as a tutor. You could even specialize in a particular subject or test prep focus.

Resume Service

Help individuals get their dream job by offering to write or edit their resumes and/or cover letters.

Home Cleaning

You could very easily offer cleaning services to homeowners or businesses. Get on a regular schedule and visit each client weekly or monthly.

Hair Styling

If you're interested in the beauty industry, you can attend a short training program and offer hair cutting, coloring and styling services.

Makeup Service

Or you could specialize in makeup artistry, helping those who are preparing for various special events.

Shopping Service

If you're interested in fashion or shopping, offer your services as a personal shopper or stylist.

Errand Service

To offer more a more wide ranging list of services, you can start an errand business where you shop for groceries, finish laundry or complete other various tasks.

Food Delivery

Food delivery is always an in-demand service. Pick up carryout orders or groceries for people and deliver them right to their doorstep.


If you prefer actually preparing food for people, start a catering service for special events or corporate gatherings.

Personal Chef Service

For a more personalized service, you can work as a personal chef to prepare individual meals.

Photography Service

Photographers can sell their work to create a product based business. But if you prefer a service model, you could offer to take portraits or cover special events.

Videography Service

Similarly, you can create custom video content for events or business video marketing.

Valet Service

Valet services work with businesses or event hosts to provide convenient parking services for guests.

Pet Grooming

If you'd like to work with pets, start a grooming service in your own location or even offer a mobile service where you go directly to your customers.

Dog Walking

Or you could get outside and take dogs in your neighborhood for walks in exchange for a small fee.

House Sitting

To help homeowners who are traveling, offer house sitting services where you look after their property while they're away.

Child Care

If you have the experience, you could also offer babysitting or child care services.

Tailoring and Alterations

Tailoring and alterations are also popular services that you can easily offer to customers in your area.

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