Cyber attacks damaging for small firms as well as household names

Another day, another cyber attack on a well-known British company. JD Wetherspoon said on Friday that hackers had stolen data on more than 650,000 customers from the pub chain. The detail is not yet clear, but the business will be aware of the damage these attacks can cause. TalkTalk thinks the attack on its systems last month could cost it as much as £35m.

Tesco’s payments promise provides a welcome lead in a damaging scandal

See, it was easy. At a stroke last week, the supermarket group Tesco cut through the nonsense that big businesses spout about paying suppliers. It announced a standardised payments system that from next June will see small suppliers (those who deliver up to £100,000 of products each year) paid within 14 days, and medium-sized suppliers paid five days quicker than the largest companies.

Small Talk: Britain's answer to Germany’s famed mid-market sector

Germany’s Mittelstand companies are renowned as commercial powerhouses – these medium-sized, often family-owned businesses have become symbols of German economic superiority. It may therefore come as a surprise to discover that the Mittelstand’s equivalent in the UK has grown so rapidly over the past five years that it’s now bigger and better than Germany’s.