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December 13, 2013

Also in the news this week – 13 December 2013

HMRC offers new help with RTI for micro businesses

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has launched a package of support for micro businesses to help them use RTI (real time reporting of PAYE). Almost 93% of employers are using RTI to send PAYE information about their employees in real time. Now, HMRC is offering support for businesses with nine or fewer employees who need more time to adapt. This will allow them to report PAYE information on or before the last payday in the month, rather than every payday, until April 2016. There's more information on RTI for SMEs on Tax Donut.

Active holidays leave employees recharged

People who go on active holidays find it easier to get back into the swing of things than those who lounge by the pool, according to new research commissioned by SWISS. The study of 2,000 Brits found that 82% find it difficult to get back into their everyday routines after returning from a holiday. The average worker says it takes them around four days before they feel they have recovered from their break. A quarter say they have forgotten to do a job altogether, more than one in five oversleep and another 17% end up making mistakes. But those who have spent their time away being active get up to speed faster, with a fifth saying they are on top of things within one day.

Returns could put a dent in online profits this Christmas

This Christmas is likely to see a record proportion of online sales. But this will also come with higher rates of returns as shoppers are more likely to take things back that they have purchased online. It means that online retailers could find that their true Christmas sales are less than they expect. Heikki Haldre, co-founder of virtual fitting room provider Fits.me, said: "In every sector, the return rates associated with online sales are higher than return rates for offline sales. For clothing, the rate is an average of five times higher – 25% online versus 5%."

Dell Start-up in Residence competition goes live

Dell UK is searching for two start-up businesses to become its first resident entrepreneurs. Part of the new Dell UK Centre for Entrepreneurs, applicants to the Start-up in Residence competition have to enter a business plan and two-minute video explaining why technology is integral to their business success. Based at Dell's Bracknell campus, the first and second place winners will have dedicated work space for up to ten employees for a tenancy of one or two years, respectively, and access to essential technology. The competition closes for entries on 14 February. For more information, go to the Dell website.

Could you be the 2014 business woman of the year?

Veuve Clicquot is searching for the best female business talent in the UK for its annual awards in 2014. Following the success of the first Veuve Clicquot New Generation Award in 2013 which was awarded to tech entrepreneur Kathryn Parsons, it will continue to run the award alongside its Business Woman Award, won this year by Dame Zaha Hadid DBE. The New Generation Award recognises successful female entrepreneurs aged between 25 and 35. The call for nominations will close on 13 January. More details can be found on the Veuve Clicquot website.

First UK Small Business Saturday a success

The UK's first Small Business Saturday took place on 7 December and achieved widespread support and awareness from shoppers, according to research conducted by American Express. Its survey of 2,533 adults reveals that 48% were aware of the day. Of those, 43% shopped at a local, independently owned business on 7 December specifically because of Small Business Saturday. Those consumers who knew about the day spent an average of £33 per person locally – equating to £465m across the UK. Nearly one in five said they had spent at least 50% more than they would usually on a typical Saturday.