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June 05, 2014

Also in the news this week – 6 June 2014

HMRC warns minimum wage avoiders

Over £4.6 million in wage arrears has been paid to more than 22,000 workers thanks to work by HM Revenue and Customs' (HMRC) National Minimum Wage (NMW) enforcement teams. In 2013/14, HMRC found arrears in 47% of cases and recovered average arrears of around £205 per worker. Business minister Jenny Willott said: "We want to issue a clear warning to employers who fail to pay the minimum wage: under the Government's new rules you will be named and shamed and face a stiff financial penalty."

UK's self-employed working longer and earning more

A survey by Crunch Accounting shows that self-employed workers in the UK are doing better and more people are deciding to work for themselves. In the past 12 months, 54% of those polled had experienced an increase in the availability of work and 38% had increased their day rate. Almost a third of those increased their day rate by up to 50%. More than a third (40%) also said their business had grown by 50%, with 7.5% reporting a doubling of workload. 4.6 million people in the UK now work for themselves, a jump of 183,000 in the last quarter to March 2014.

Could you be one of Small Business Saturday's 100?

The organisers of this year's Small Business Saturday have launched the search for this year's Small Business Saturday 100. They plan to use social media channels to feature 100 small businesses, one a day for the 100 days leading up to December 6th. Last year's 100 got valuable exposure and also joined organisers at a Downing Street reception with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne. Entries close on July 31 and those included will be advised no later than August 22.

SMEs urged to expand overseas

Research by Regus reveals that four in ten SMEs are growing primarily due to expansion within the domestic market, while a quarter are experiencing balanced growth across domestic and foreign markets. However, just 12% of SMEs mainly attribute their growth to overseas expansion, compared to a quarter of large firms (over 250 employees). John Spencer, UK CEO at Regus, said: "Our previous research found that firms trading overseas were two-fifths more likely to increase profits than those sticking to the domestic market, so I would urge more small business owners to consider the growth opportunities presented by foreign markets."