Please see below M&C Report’s roundup of the weekend press: More lenders to join loans scheme The Government is to increase the number of lenders that can offer loans to small and medium-sized businesses under the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme. The Business Department said it would “accredit” more lenders to offer the scheme. To encourage more smaller lenders to join, it is also increasing the amount of loan it will insure against default from 9.75% to 15%. This is paid out on the first £1m of each loan. The news came in the week the Bank of England reported that lending to small businesses was falling faster than at any time since records began. Lending to small firms was down 4.9% in May compared with the same month last year. The Mail on Sunday Fall in occupancy to claim more hotel victims More casualties in the hotel sector are inevitable as high levels of debt and a decline in the business travel market continue to take their toll, warn industry experts. But there are some positive notes, with London and budget hotels enjoying record occupancy levels. Von Essen, owner of Cliveden in Berkshire and the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath, was the most high profile company in the sector to go into administration recently. But many other chains were struggling, said Christian Mole, hotel transactions executive director at accountancy firm Ernst & Young. The Mail on Sunday Osborne cuts red tape to revive stalling growth Ministers will this week begin a new drive against the red-tape strangling high-street shops – including the rules governing what can b sold to children – as figures show Britain’s economy is still in the doldrums. Figures to be published by the Office for National Statistics are expected to show a slowdown in economic growth in the second quarter of 2011 – a period which included bank holidays for Easter and the Royal Wedding. The first quarter of the year saw growth at 0.5%, with ministers braced for a fall to around 0.2% for the second quarter, piling pressure on the Coalition as it seeks o deliver its programme of public spending cuts. The Sunday Telegraph Sell assets, councils told Town halls are to be ordered to sell their assets or make more money from them in the latest attempt to drive down the deficit. Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, will release figures this week showing that local authorities own land and property worth about £250bn across the country, which costs more than £100bn a year to maintain. Mr Pickles wants to make surplus land available for retail and property developers to buy, The Sunday Telegraph understands. He also wants authorities to make more money from the assets they keep. Golf clubs, social clubs and other bodies that rent or lease land from councils face increased charges as part of the plan. The Sunday Telegraph Raising the bar on safe drink limits MPs are to review Government advice on safe drinking levels and could call for recommended limits to be raised in line with other countries. The Commons science and technology committee is to examine he evidence behind current guidelines, which say men should not regularly drink more than four unit of alcohol a day, equivalent to two pints of ordinary strength beer, while women should have no more than three units, a large glass of wine. MPs will compare the UK guidelines with those abroad, with many countries including Italy, France and Spain, having more generous limits. The Sunday Telegraph Signs of BSkyB slowdown bring more bad news for investors BSkyB investors reeling from the phone-hacking scandal are now bracing themselves for the first signs of a slowdown in the satellite broadcaster’s recession-defying growth when it reports full-year results on Friday. Earlier this month, Sky promised to freeze prices for its TV, broadband and phone subscribers from September for at least 12 months. Some see this as the first indication its customers are finally feeling the pinch. Steve Malcolm at Evolution Securities identified some stumbling blocks to Sky’s growth now News Corporation has withdrawn its takeover bid. These include the danger that watchdog Ofcom will decide the Murdochs are no longer fit and proper owners of a broadcast licence, forcing News Corp to sell its 39% stake. The Observer Cable warns on economy The Bank of England should be ready to print more money as the economy stalls, Vince Cable, the business secretary has warned. He concedes that the economy is “worryingly weak” and more quantitative easing may be needed to boost demand. The news comes as the government braces itself for more disappointing growth figures this week. The Sunday Times Blackstone swoops on hotel group The American buyout firm Blackstone is closing in on a deal to acquire Mint, a British hotel chain, in a deal worth about £575m. The private equity outfit has emerged as front-runner in the race to acquire the operation, after seeing off a rival bid from TPG, another American investment house. Mint is owned by the Orr family and financed by Lloyds Banking Group. JP Morgan has been conducting a strategic review of the business for several months. The Sunday Times Cheap fried sausages batter cod Sales of cod are taking a battering in fish and chip shops – from deep fried sausages. The rising cost of fish means many families can no longer afford the traditional favourite. Some suppliers have seen cheaper sausage sales double in recent months. The Sunday Mirror McDonald’s eats into record books A record number of customers visited McDonald’s over the last three months, as its cheap fast food and long opening hours attracted recession-hit consumers. McDonald’s has now posted 21 consecutive quarters of sales growth in the UK. During the second quarter it served 325m customers in Britain, the equivalent of everyone in the country visiting twice a month. In April, May and June, helped by the extra royal wedding public holiday, sales jumped by between 6% and 9%. It would not give exact figures, but it outperformed the Europe-wide figure of 5.9%. Most of the growth came from increased customer numbers, thanks to longer opening hours. Average spend was stable. The Daily Telegraph, Saturday Headhunters to seek more women for boardrooms City headhunters have pledged to draw up boardroom long lists with women representing at least three out of 10 candidates after a government call for a stronger female presence at the top of British companies. A code of conduct drawn up by 20 leading executive search firms, including Spencer Stuart and Zygos, has pledged to ensure that at least 30% of potential board nominees for FTSE 350 companies are women. The move follows a government-backed report into male dominance of corporate Britain by Lord Davis, the former business minister, which recommended that headhunters draft voluntary rules on tackling the boardroom gender imbalance. The Guardian, Saturday The king of curries It has often been voted the nation’s favourite dish. But it seems our taste for chicken tikka masala may be cooling. Research shows that the orange-tinged curry has been usurped by a lesser-known pretender, the jalfrezi. A far hotter dish, cooked using green chillies, it is now the most popular dish in Britain’s 10,000 Indian restaurants, the survey found. It is though Britons are becoming more adventurous with their tastes, with restaurant diners developing a much higher tolerance to hot foods. Coming in at second place was the madras, another spicy dish containing generous helpings of chilli. Chicken tikka masala made it only into eighth place in the poll by Chaat!, the in-house magazine of the British Curry Club. The Daily Mail, Saturday