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Do UK card printers have more to offer than overseas rivals?

Going abroad for Christmas has become commonplace, and not just for holidays. Much of the printing of charity cards for the festive season takes place in the UK, but more and more customers are being lured further afield by the promise, not of sun, but of cheap labour and, in some cases, more competitive printing costs.

PrintWeek’s pick of 2013’s top stories

We look back at a year that, although tough, has towards the end seen green shoots of recovery emerge.

Printers sceptical of trailblazer apprenticeship initiative

The latest cog in the government’s apprenticeship reform wheel has been set in motion over the past few weeks in the form of eight pilot trailblazer groups with a remit to develop new ‘employer-led’ national standards.

Will NIC reforms live up to the hype?

The government says 1.25m businesses and charities will see their National Insurance contributions (NICs) cut by up to £2,000 each when the new Employment Allowance is introduced next year. Business leaders have welcomed this, but how does it all stack up for printers?

Price hikes are real threat to SMEs and could derail recovery

Energy firms “overcharge by £3.7bn a year”, ran one recent newspaper headline. Virtually every national newspaper, in fact, has reported accusations that the UK’s biggest energy companies have systematically overcharged customers by billions of pounds.

Offset vendors seek inroads to digital

Call it what you will, the strategic coming together of vendors in the hope of becoming more than the sum of their parts is the topic du jour in print.

Green shoots prompt investment in leaner, meaner sector

Infinity Finishing was one of the lucky ones, but just how lucky only time will tell. The business started in mid October, but unlike many would-be start-ups, this one was made possible with a loan from an unlikely source - a high-street bank.

SMEs must drive push for fairer terms

Late-paying customers have long been the bane of SME business owners, all the more since the credit crunch began in 2007 leading to full-blown financial armageddon in 2008.

Vibrant labels market still has massive scope for growth

It was billed as 'the greatest label show on earth' and this was an event that actually did live up to the hyperbole.

Results bear out a radical restructure

It is 2009 and St Ives' chief executive Patrick Martell, who joined the group as an apprentice in 1980, is giving his first major interview since taking the reins in April of the worst year in the company's history.

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