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Starting a business in a small town or city is the stuff of dreams for some people. It allows you to have all the fun of a major entrepreneur, but with fewer of the pressures associatedwith working on an international stage. 

 

For a long time, however, the plight of the small business on the high street was woeful. 

Behemoth corporations like Amazon stomped on SMEs like they were a bug on Godzilla’s foot, and at one point a high street business was shutting its doors once every second in Britain. 

This was a nation of shopkeepers under existential threat – but, as with all threats to dear old Blighty, it found a workaround. 

 

While many SMEs continue to struggle against their larger opponents, many consumers have turned back to the high street for their groceries, books, records and coffees. 

 

Small business owners have figured out the joys of the internet, and have cultivated brands that rely on a passionatecustomer base to continue their ventures. 

 

We’ve looked at how many of these companies operate and thought we’d share their wisdom. So here’s how to tool yourself up in an arena of hard knocks. 

 

Know the law 

Here’s something that seldom gets covered by business blogs – as the owner of an SME, you have numerous legal obligations to uphold, and you’ll have the government on your back if you don’t. 

 

Some of these can be incredibly obvious – don’t refuse to pay your staff is one – but many seem incredibly opaque to an outsider. 

 

The world of the law is designed to be complex. Legal documents are written in a circular fashion, with every word pored over like Bible scripture. It’s a terrifying world, and one that requires a very qualified guide. 

 

For our money, Switalskis are a solicitors that are ideal if you’re based in England, and they’re professionals in business law. Give them a call. 

 

Know Instagram 

Social media isn’t a terrifying unknowable entity – it’s the key to your customers. 

 

And Instagram is the easiest of all social media channels, in terms of creating distinctive content. 

As an image-heavy site, all you really need to do is populate your Instagram page with pictures of your shop’s/office’s day-to-day operations. Chuck in a few hashtags and, bish bash bosh, you’re done! 

Maintaining a good profile is slightly more complex than that, but you’ll learn as you go. 

Know your customers 

Do you attract golden oldies or bumbling hipsters? Not sure? Then it’s time to profile your customer base.

 

You can do this in a number of ways, but the easiest is to send a survey to your existing customer base. Once their surveys are filled in you’ll have barrel loads of information to utilise in marketing campaigns. 

 

That’s our list! Got any suggestions of your own? Then let us know in the comments below!

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Campaigners welcome Mhairi Black’s support for national community energy initiative
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Power for People, an organisation campaigning for more local, clean energy, today welcomed the support of Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP, Mhairi Black, for a Bill introduced in Parliament that, if made law, would allow communities to sell locally generated energy to local people.
Currently, if a community owns a local energy structure, such as a field of solar panels or a wind turbine, they are not able to sell the energy it generates to local people. The Local Electricity Bill, if made law, would create a ‘right to local supply’ for communities, allowing them to benefit from the money currently received by larger utilities.
Power for People is campaigning for other MPs across the country to support the Bill.
Steve Shaw, their Director, said, “We warmly welcome Mhairi Black’s support for this initiative. People like clean, local energy most when they know that their communities are receiving benefits from it. The Local Electricity Bill would enable this to happen across the country.”
Mhairi Black MP said, “It is vital that communities benefit as our economy transitions to one with increasingly more decentralised and clean energy. The Local Electricity Bill will enable local energy generation to benefit local communities. I will do all I can to ensure it becomes law.”
mhairi black
MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South Mhairi Black, along with a cross-party group of 200 MPs, including the majority of Scottish MPs, are calling on the MP’s Pension Fund to stop investing in fossil fuel companies, such as Shell and BP, following growing concerns about their role in fuelling climate change.
mhairi black
SNP, Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat current and former MPs have signed a ‘pledge’ calling for the MP’s Pension Fund to review and phase out fossil fuel investments. The call follows growing concern among Parliamentarians about the environmental, social and financial risks posed by climate change.
29 out of the 35 SNP MPs have now signed the pledge, including the SNP Westminster Leader, Ian Blackford, Mhairi Black, Angus MacNeil, John McNally, Dr. Philippa Whitford and all of the Glasgow and Edinburgh SNP MPs.
The UNs recent report on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees demands additional effort from world leaders to enact rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society within the next few years.
Mhairi Black, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, said:
“The current generation of children, and their children and grandchildren will face devastating weather impacts if we don’t take action on climate change now. This means a rapid phasing out of fossil fuels and investing in a progressive and just transition to a zero-carbon economy. Scotland is already leading the way in this: we have set ourselves ambitious climate protection goals, and are rapidly scaling up renewable energy technologies. I am very pleased to join my fellow MPs from Scotland and around the country in urging the UK Parliament to show climate leadership and remove their pension investments from fossil fuel companies.”
Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavillion, who first established the campaign, said:
“We’re now a 200 strong cohort of cross-party MPs who believe it is morally indefensible for Parliamentarians to be investing in companies which profit from wrecking our planet. MPs have a duty to take action to prevent the worst of climate change. One simple step we can take is ditching our investments in fossil fuels – and instead invest in clean, renewable energy, and low-carbon technologies”.
Sally Clark, a Scotland Divest Parliament campaigner, said:
“It is extremely encouraging that so many Scottish MPs from all political parties are speaking out about the urgent need to divest from fossil fuels in order to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees.”
Ric Lander, Friends of the Earth Scotland, said:
“People across the world are rising up to demand action on the climate crisis and its biggest cause in fossil fuels. We need our leaders to respond to this call, and cleaning up their own pension funds is a great place to start. By going fossil free investors like pension funds can help the world break free from fossil fuels and invest in a brighter future for everyone.”
If successful, the campaign would see Parliament joining the Irish National Infrastructure Fund, the New York State Pension fund and two thirds of UK universities, including Glasgow and Edinburgh, in committing to fossil fuel divestment.
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Glasgow, the most popular and populous city of Scotland, is a historical marvel. The city is life bursting, has a rich culture and great attractions. But if you are a student and you are studying the wonderful history of this city, then you better not skip the following:

Ancient Trees

The Fossil Grove in Glasgow’s Victoria Park has a few trees that are even older than the Dinosaurs. The park is home to extinct fossil trees which date back to 330 million years. They have lasted this long thanks to Glasgow’s warm and humid temperature.

Third Oldest Underground Railway System

Glasgow’s Clockwork Orange is famous around the world because of its unique color. But little does the world knows it is the third oldest Underground Railway system in the world.

It first opened in 1896 and went under heavy renovations in late 1996. This underground system only consists of a circular line. The color scheme was inspired by the wagons and their seat upholstery in warm tones, thus the name Clockwork Orange. The underground railway system of London is the world ’soldest underground railway system while Budapest has the second oldest. Clockwork Orange was conceived at the height of the Industrial Revolution. 

Oldest Building 

The Glasgow Cathedral is perhaps the most intact medieval Cathedral in Scottish Mainland.  Better known as the High Kirk of Glasgow, it remains as the oldest building in Glasgow. The history of this Cathedral date backs to the foundation of thisCity. It exists right where the patron of Saint of Glasgow built his church. The tomb of Saint, Saint Mungo remains in lower crypt till this date. It is said the building was built years before 1136. 

Glasgow Hunterian Museum

The Museum was built in 1807. The Museum is known for its extensive collection of Art and Scientific Relics which even includes the world’s first ultrasound machine. 

It remains the oldest public museum in Scotland. However, today The Hunterian is also recognized as a leading university with a collection that is of great national significance. It attracts scholars and visitors from every corner of the world. 

The Horseshoe Bar

This Grand Victorian Bar was first established in 1884. Captain John Sculler founded it. The bar is a landmark in the city’snightlife as well while it adds a great historical significance. It is known for the 104 feet and three inches continuous bar. This is perhaps the longest bar table in Europe. 

The Britannia Panopticon

This is perhaps the oldest surviving music hall in history. It was built in 1850’s largest city of the British Empire. This music hall is still alive as artists from around the world still perform here. 

The Industrial Revolution

Not a landmark so to speak, but if you are a student who needs essay help with history, you better not skip the Industrial Revolution of Glasgow. The Industrial Revolution took place in Glasgow at the start of the 19th century. 

The city was a hub for manufacturing cotton, textiles, chemicals,and other products. The demand increased rapidly, andimmigrants from Highlands in the 1820’S and from Ireland in 1840s came forth to form a recognition workforce. 

This revolution had its root back at the start of 18th century, probably around 1710 when Glasgow Tobacco Lords traded with the New World.

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Renfrewshire’s new bin collection service is set to begin next week after every household was provided with a new green recycling bin.

renfrewshire bin lorry

Renfrewshire’s new bin collection service is set to begin next week after every household was provided with a new green recycling bin.

From Monday 3 December, residents will now separate their recycling as part of a drive to improve the quality of material collected and reduce the costs associated with disposing of general waste.

The new green bin provided is for plastics, cans and glass and the blue bin will now be for paper, card and cardboard only.

Those on a sack collection will be provided with a new green sack to separate their waste, with glass continuing to go directly to the nearest recycling centre.

renfrewshire bin

To reduce any potential space issues, some flats and tenements may have been provided with shared bins for communal use with residents sharing responsibility for presenting this for collection.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’ve been working hard to ensure we provide residents with all the information they need to adapt to the new service and we would encourage all residents to read their information pack closely as it outlines what the changes mean for them.

“It’s extremely important that we all consider if our waste could be recycled before throwing it into the grey bin and the new recycling bin should provide extra capacity to help people recycle.

“We’re here to support residents with the new service so if you have any questions then please get in touch with us at the council.”

Due to the overlap of the new service from the current provision, some residents will receive an additional collection to ensure they do not wait longer than they should for a grey bin collection. Letters will be delivered to the affected households outlining the exact date.

Information packs specific to each household in Renfrewshire have been delivered to ensure residents are fully informed of what the new service means for them and include a service guide, a full collection calendar for the next year and details on any change in collection day.

If residents haven’t yet received their information pack then they should report this via www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/missinginfopack.

For more information and a full list of FAQs, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/mybins or email mybins@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Situated on a tributary of the River Clyde to the west of Scotland, Paisley is often overshadowed by its much larger neighbor, Glasgow. But it is still Scotland’s fifth largest town in its own right, with many opportunities for things to see and do, especially for romantically-inclined couples who’ve met through typical uk dating web services. Here are five of the most highly recommended.

 

Soar

 

Why not start your special day out in ‘Scotland’s largest town’ by spending a few adventurous hours involved in different activities? Head over to ‘Soar at Intu Braehead,’ located in the Braehead Shopping Centre, where you can make the most of this ultra-modern entertainment hub. Amongst the pastimes on offer are laser games, a bowling alley, a cinema, and a climbing wall. Take your pick of these, or why not spend some time at each?! Afterward, you can satisfy the thirst and hunger you will undoubtedly have built up by retiring to one of the many choices of dining outlets.

 

Gleniffer Braes Country Park

 

Situated on the town’s Glenfield Road, this park is the ideal venue to spend a couple of romantic hours taking in the wildlife and gorgeous scenery. There is a heavily wooded area where you can enjoy pleasant strolls, keeping an eye out for grazing cattle. Follow the many hiking trails, listening to the background chorus of birds. Scenic streams gurgle by, while there are also lookout points where you can take a break from your walking and absorb the tranquil Renfrewshire scenery. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can follow some of the walkways to wider networks outwith the park’s boundaries, such as the Brandy Burn Way and the Fereneze Braes paths. There are picnic spots, as well as the opportunity to indulge in kite flying.

 

Snow Factor

 

Also located within Intu Braehead, Snow Factor will bring out the daredevil winter sports enthusiast in you and your partner. Open all-year-round, this venue consists of skiing and snowboarding opportunities, with classes available if you expect you’d spend more time flat on your back than gracefully coasting along. There’s also an ice-climbing wall. If all that hectic activity is enough to prompt some timeout, the two of you can retire to the nearby eatery and enjoy delicious snacks, washed down with drinks from a bar.

 

Dams to Darnley Trail

 

Walk hand-in-hand by not one but five separate reservoirs, each a haven of aquatic peace and tranquility. The open waters of the dams attract birdlife, while the wetlands and burns are perfect places to explore as you search for species local to those habitats. Keep an eye out for palmate newts – at 7.5 cm these are the smallest of such native amphibians. They are a ‘priority species’ within the Glasgow Local Biodiversity Action Plan, due to their fragile ecological position. Staff are on hand to provide advice and information.

 

Trattoria Genova Restaurant and Takeaway

 

Finally, after such an energetic day, the perfect antidote to so much activity would be to book a romantic table-for-two at the Trattoria Genova. Located on Paisley’s Glasgow Road, near the town center, this restaurant is known for its excellent cuisine, cozy atmosphere and attentive staff. Modern-looking and well-lit, the menu serves a selection of delicious authentic Italian dishes which are cooked with taste being the top priority, rather than trying to impress with unusual ingredients. So expect to be served minestrone soup, followed by mouth-watering lasagne and chicken stroganoff. The prices are always reasonable, too, and what better way to seal your romantic Paisley date than cracking open a bottle of plonk?

Scottish towns have a rich history when it comes to mystery, spirituality and even the occult. Paisley is not exempt from this, whether you’re looking at the way it stands today or the history of the town.

Spirituality Today

In recent years, the Johnstone Spiritualist Church has been a part of Paisley’s culture, although it is currently not operating. Its aim was to provide a bridge between two worlds, the spirit world and the living. Guests met with trained mediums and there was opportunity to receive free spiritual healing. In its absence, people of Paisley are still able to partake in spiritual practices in other ways, often more modern. For example, you can engage in tarot readings online and over the phone, which can illuminate your understanding of a particular situation you’re in by giving you guidance that’s beyond the realms of your typical world. The ancient cards are full of knowledge and wisdom, and rely on energies and even spirits to give you their outcomes.


Our Pagan Past

Although Christianity is the most prominent religion in Scotland, our past is rich and diverse, which means it wasn’t always this way. In fact, the Celts were thought to practice something called Celtic polytheism, which focuses on a belief in multiple gods or goddesses, as opposed to one singular god. Little is known about these people, but it’s thought that they probably practiced some form of paganism or druidism, which often deals with spells or rituals. This suggests spirituality was important to them.

It’s very likely that the people of Paisley would have also partaken in these traditions, but by the time Christianity came to Scotland, it took over. You’ll be familiar with the medieval Abbey here. It dates all the way back to the 12th century, and by that time most of the pagans would have been long gone.

The Paisley Witches

While the majority of those of the druid faith would indeed have long departed, that didn’t stop certain townsfolk being accused of witchcraft! Everyone has heard of the Salem Witch trials, but a lot of people don’t know that similar persecution happened right here in Renfrewshire and all over Scotland. The Paisley Witch Trials of 1697 seem unfathomable today, with seven individuals being accused of practicing magic when it was absolutely frowned upon to be anything but dutiful to the biblical God. A strange altercation with a child who then experienced fits was believed to signify it had been “cursed”, and seven individuals accused of exhibiting strange behavior in relation to this were put to death.

Today, people here in the town are far more forgiving and realise that the child’s fits were probably based on medical issues. However, the town has a memorial in remembrance of the tragedy that features a horseshoe – just in case the curse is real, and bad luck falls upon us all!

Paisley is a fascinating town for a plethora of reasons, but its spiritual, often occult nature (both past and present) makes for a more interesting story than most. 

gavin newlands mp

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is scheduled to go head to head with Robert Skillen, the disgraced director of the now liquidated company HELMS. Skillen and HELMS are accused of miss-selling thousands of solar panels and Energy efficiency adaptations to households across the UK.

Shockingly, HELMS operated under the backing of the UK government, through its flagship Green Deal Scheme, households have been left struggling, burdened with unaffordable debts, faulty workmanship, and at times trapped from selling their homes.

gavin newlands mp

Newlands has previously called for Skillen to see the ‘inside of a courtroom’ after discovering his constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire North has been affected by Green Deal miss-selling more than any other constituency in the UK. He and other MPs are calling for accountability and redress for their constituents. Gavin, after seeing first-hand the affect this has had on households in his constituency is determined to see resolution. So much so that, Skillen has recently appeared in the media, struggling to defend his actions.

Newlands and Skillen have both been invited to participate in a discussion on STV’s flagship current affairs program, Scotland Tonight, which will be taking place this Thursday (29th) at 10:30pm. The head to head will be centred on the accusations that MPs have laid on Skillen in parliamentary debates.

In anticipation of Thursday night’s broadcast, Newlands said:

“I am looking forward to challenging Skillen face to face. He has been incognito for some time now, in hiding, cowering away from any accountability.

“His company was responsible for severe financial stress and who knows what other problems, all so he could make a quick buck. He has used classic underhanded dodgy salesman tactics to deliberately miss-sell so aggressively that he may well have to face criminal charges.

“Skillen has been a blight on the communities that I represent. But make no mistake, his actions were enabled by a careless UK Government who were more concerned with positive PR than seeing a policy implemented properly.

“It is ultimately the UK Government in Westminster that is responsible for cleaning up this mess, I urge them to act now to provide immediate financial redress to my constituents and anyone else out of pocket thanks to Green Deal miss-selling.”

Gavin on Facebook:

You may have heard of an EMP bag that acts as protection against an electromagnetic pulse. You probably already know your electronics should be in there, but why? Is there anything else that should be in the bag? We are going to talk to you about ​bags for EMP protection​ and everything you should know about them. Keep reading to learn all this and more!

An EMP can be a minor event, but can also send the earth back in time and be much more major. When EMP energy happens, it will find your electronics and metal right away. The metal layer around the back, however, will redirect this so anything in the bag is not harmed. If there is any openings or tears inside the bag, the energy can still get inside and destroy it. If you have a generator inside the bag, make sure that it is not plugged into the wall as this will also ruin anything that is in the bag.

EMP stands for electromagnetic pulse. This pulse can have so many ranges, but ultimately it’s a great idea to prepare for an emergency in case it happens. You would much rather be safe than sorry. An EMP is a sudden large amount of energy that can actually destroy all electronics across a certain area. There are different types of EMPs. There are natural ones, but there also can be man-made ones such as a nuclear explosion. It doesn’t really matter how one is occurring, just that it is and you want to stay protected.

An EMP bag is typically called a Faraday bag. A Faraday cage is what prevents any damages to electronics you have in them in case a voltage spike happens.

This would result in your electronics breaking. What the Faraday bag does is it switches the energy coming in away from your electronics that are secure inside the bag. The Faraday bag should be a strong a heavy duty material like polyester and a heavy layer of it. It also should be able to stop any objects that are trying to poke holes through it.

The bags can also come in vacuum packaging and have multiple metal layers so ensure the best protection possible.

There are many misconceptions about Faraday bags and cages and we want to address them. Some people believe that if your phone stays in the bag, it won’t work when it comes out. This is not at all the case. Once you remove the phone, it will work perfectly again. The best example of this is when you get into an elevator, your phone probably stops working for about 1 minute and then once you are out of the elevator it starts working right away again, right? This is the same as a Faraday bag.

Some people have questions as to what may need to be stored in a Faraday bag when it does not actually need to be. The first myth is that batteries need to be stored in it. Batteries will continue to work so there is no point in putting them in your Faraday bag. You also do not need to leave your solar panel in a Faraday bag. They will also stay safe. An inverter, however, will not stay safe, if you want to keep it safe, keep it inside of your bag.
There are ways of making your own Faraday bag, however many times these do not work. When you are in an emergency situation like that, it’s best not to try and simply cover your items in aluminum foil, purchase an EMP bag.

There are ways to ensure your Faraday bag works. You can do this by putting your cell phone inside of the bag. You will then call it and if it rings your bag is not working. If it does not then it is working. Another way to test it is to put a radio inside to see if it works. It should not work at all if your Faraday bag works properly.

When it comes to your bag, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s important that you measure all your electronics to see how long and wide you need your Faraday bag to be. This will ensure your bag is not too smaller. There are also larger options for nesting if you need it. Your EMP bag is not a fashion statement, it is simply something you want in case of an emergency. You can always have multiple bags if you wish. Although there are ways to make them yourself out there, to ensure yours works when it counts, it’s always best to make the small investment in an EMP bag to protect all your electronics. This bag will last for years and years. From time to time simply ensure there are no holes or tears in it. Sometimes when electronics store in it can end up being pushed around. That is why the bag should have a thick liner to make sure no tears happen, but it’s always a good idea to ensure there are none. If there are, you will want to get a new one right away because this one will no longer work.

Now you know a little more about bags for EMP protection, what they can store in it, and what you should be storing in yours. Remember, it’s always a good idea to do your homework before purchasing one and utilizing it for your specific needs. What’s the point in having one if a shock happens and you’re still not protected. Our experts are trained to help you find exactly what you are looking for and answer any questions you have. Contact us today to learn more.

If you are looking for the most affordable flats to rent in Dundee, then you have to make sure that you have a good plan. It is not always easy to believe that you can find the best house for you or your family at a cheaper price. There are so many types of flats one could rent, but your search for a cheaper one can only be successful if you consider certain factors.

If you intend to live alone, then you have higher chances of getting lucky. The things to do to ensure that you spend less on rent include;

  1.    You might want to consider searching outside the city

We all know that the cost of housing in the heart of Dundee is expensive compared to housing in the outskirts. By outskirts, it does not mean that you have to look so far away from the city. The point is finding a house that is a little bit outside the city. The reason why such houses are relatively cheap is that the population around such areas is normally not high. People tend to focus on the homes in the city because they provide convenience and have easy access to amenities. Since the flats owners in the city know about how strategic their flats are located, they tend to charge high.

  1.    You can find a roommate

Roommates come in handy when you want to save on rent. Finding a roommate should not be hard since everyone wants to spend as less as possible on rent. You can always share the cost of rent with someone. The problem, however, is to find the perfect roommate. You can always advertise that you are looking for a roommate and don’t forget to specify the type of roommate you want.

  1.    Renovate your new old looking house

This is the oldest trick in the books. You may find that a flat is in excellent condition, but due to negligence or lack of renovations, the interior looks old. Such houses do come cheap because of their condition, but you don’t have to stay in an old house. Renovations like paintwork normally go a long way plus you never know how much discount the landlord will give you as an appreciation. Old looking flats are normally not in bad condition except for maybe for the paint job and fittings falling out.

  1.    Avoid luxurious things that make a house expensive

We all love luxury and comfort, but sometimes you have to settle for less. Some flats come fully furnished with furniture and other kinds of installs. There are also flats that come as they are, just a big hall. When expecting to spend less on rent, you know what type of flats to go for.

Conclusion

The cost of rent is an expense that is totally under your control. You can always find a way that will allow you to spend less and live nice. Also never be afraid to check on brand new flats. New flats normally don’t change highly in their first few months, and some landlords even throw in a free month for their first tenants.