Business Diary: Sugar is not so sweet on small business

Is Lord Sugar, asked by the Government to advise it on how a tribunal for small companies turned down for credit might operate, the best man for the job? Last year, Lord Sugar said most of the firms that complain to him about the banks weren't living in the real world. "A lot of problems you hear from people who are moaning are from companies I wouldn't lend a penny to," the ever-honest Sugar said.

Delia at the root of demand for ginger

Another hit for Delia Smith. For the past few days Waitrose has been airing adverts starring the original TV cook making a rhubarb and ginger brûlée. Opies, a family-run food supplier specialising in fresh ingredients, says sales of ginger have risen 50 per cent since last week.

Cadbury veteran falls on his sword

Since Kraft succeeded in its hostile bid for Cadbury, there has been a stream of departures from the chocolate company's press office which has spent much of the past year rubbishing the US company. Add Alex Cole, Cadbury's corporate affairs director, to the list of departees. "I wish Kraft all the very best in living up to its vision of a business that's 'more delicious than ever' while retaining Cadbury's value and values," Cole has told contacts. "I know you'll be watching."

The woman who invented a TV channel

Congratulations to Ann Evans of Crwbin in South-West Wales, who must be one of the only people in Britain to have named a television channel. Mrs Evans was watching S4C last year when it ran a item about there being no Welsh word for the high definition service it planned to launch, She suggested Clirlun – literally "clear picture" – and that's what S4C has gone with.

It's good to talk – if you can get through

Ever been let down by a utility? Don't worry – it's not just the little people who suffer. The City broker KBC Peel Hunt has had to send out hundreds of emails with a new phone number. "BT have advised us that it will be another 48 hours before our telephone services are restored."

Number of the day: 34 per cent

Shrinkage of the "black hole" in Tory economic plans since Labour put it at £34bn in January. Now it says £22bn.

businessdiary@independent.co.uk

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