Archive for January, 2013

Report reveals survival strategies of rural micro-firms


Rural micro-businesses have found many ways to survive in these challenging economic times, a report by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) has revealed. Survival strategies included establishing niche markets for rural-focused products and adapting to meet the specific needs of their local market, as well as diversification, for example farmers letting out accommodation for business use. The report makes several recommendations to Government, including introducing high-speed broadband to rural areas within five years, simplifying the planning application process and encouraging LEPs to increase their mentoring programmes for small rural businesses.

There is more on the report at:
http://www.defra.gov.uk/crc/rural-micro-businesses-what-makes-some-thrive-in-a-challenging-economic-climate-2/

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Disabled people to get business start up support


Disabled people who looking to start a business will now be able to apply for grants to cover the costs of specialist equipment, travel and support workers, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced. The Access to Work grants are available to anyone with a disability or health condition that affects their ability to work or leads to work-related costs, and who are already enrolled on the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme. The Minister for disabled people Esther McVey explained: “We’ve opened up our flagship programme so that disabled people have the same choice to start up their own business as everyone else.”

There is more on the grants at:
http://www.dwp.gov.uk/newsroom/press-releases/2013/jan-2013/dwp002-13.shtml

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WORKSHOPS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS GROW! These are selling fast so book now to avoid disappointment!

 

 

Dacorum Borough Council’s series of half day workshops in February, March, April and May to be held at the Maylands Business Centre are booking fast. Please don’t miss out. Book your place now!.

The workshops provide you with valuable tools to help you gain a competitive edge and provide measurable improvements for your business. They are aimed at bite size training which will help your businesses grow whilst ensuring that you are not away from your business for long periods of time.

These workshops have been organised as a result of the skills survey we carried out with local businesses and will be on a first come/first served basis.  Spaces are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment. These workshops are part-funded by Dacorum Borough Council in order to help everyone take advantage of them.

To book, please visit www.regonline.co.uk/workshopsforgrowth.”

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HMRC issues warning to firms filing late VAT returns


Around 50,000 businesses with at least one outstanding VAT return have been warned by HMRC that their tax affairs will be more closely scrutinised unless they pay all tax owed by 28 February. Firms that come forward voluntarily by this date face lower penalties and may be treated more leniently than those that do not come forward. Head of HMRC Campaigns Marian Wilson warned: “If HMRC has sent you a VAT return and you have not yet taken any action, this campaign is a reminder to bring your tax affairs up to date. But time is running out.”

There is more on this story at:
http://hmrc.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/Businesses-warned-on-late-VAT-returns-685cb.aspx

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Small firms’ apprenticeship grant scheme extended


The Government’s Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE), introduced in February 2012, has been extended for a further year. Under the scheme, small businesses can apply for grants of £1,500 for up to ten apprentices aged between 16 and 24. The Government said it hopes this extension will encourage firms to take on more young workers thus leading to business growth and a reduction in youth unemployment. Business Secretary Vince Cable explained: “Employers may be concerned about the time recruitment and training will take, and anxious about how it will work. So the £1,500 grant is a token to acknowledge this.”

There is more on the incentive at:
http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/News-Media/Latest-News/Article226.aspx

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Demand for ethical goods continues to grow


The value of the ethical goods market increased slightly to just over £47 billion between 2010 and 2011, according to a report by the Co-operative Group. The report revealed the market for ethical goods and services had grown steadily since 2008. Key growth sectors between 2010 and 2011 included food and drink, which grew by 8%, as well as green home products and eco-travel and transport, which increased by around 10% and 12% respectively. The average household spent £989 a year on ethical goods and services. This figure is up from £291 in 2000.

There is more on the report at:
http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2233334/uk-ethical-consumer-market-climbs-to-over-gbp47bn

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WORKSHOPS TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS GROW! These are selling fast so book now to avoid disappointment!

 

We are pleased to offer you and your employees a series of half day workshops in February, March, April and May to be held at the Maylands Business Centre.

The workshops provide you with valuable tools to help you gain a competitive edge and provide measurable improvements for your business. They are aimed at bite size training which will help your businesses grow whilst ensuring that you are not away from your business for long periods of time.

These workshops have been organised as a result of the skills survey we carried out with local businesses and will be on a first come/first served basis.  Spaces are limited, so please book early to avoid disappointment. These workshops are part-funded by Dacorum Borough Council in order to help everyone take advantage of them.

To book, please visit www.regonline.co.uk/workshopsforgrowth.” 

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Small firms unaware of sustainability benefits


According to research by Lloyds TSB Commercial,  more work is needed to educate small firms about how sustainable practices can benefit their business. The study found 60% of small and medium-sized enterprises had introduced some form of sustainable practice to their business, but 42% of firms admitted they had little or no understanding of sustainability. The main reasons cited by firms for adopting more efficient or sustainable practices were to secure new business deals or to save money.

There is more on the study at:
http://www.workplacelaw.net/content/45442

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HMRC reminds firms to prepare for RTI system


HRMC has warned employers to prepare for the introduction of the Real-Time Information (RTI) system in three months’ time. From April 2013, employers must submit Pay As You Earn (PAYE) returns electronically on a monthly basis when they do their payroll. HMRC is encouraging employers to prepare for the new RTI system by visiting the HMRC website for more information, obtaining new or updated payroll software, and checking and updating employee information.

There is more on the reminder at:
http://hmrc.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/PAYE-attention-RTI-is-coming-68597.aspx

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