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February 22, 2013

Also in the news this week – 22 February 2013

Tweeting in meetings?

Almost three-quarters of all workers check their social media feeds on their smartphones during business meetings, according to a new survey. The poll of 1,000 office workers by found that 71% of staff regularly checked feeds from sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. And almost half of all conference delegates say they rely on their smartphones to connect and find information prior to events, with 47% saying they turned to Facebook and Twitter for details. Twitter is the preferred platform for live debate around events, with 28% of those polled considering themselves regular in-meeting tweeters.

HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards

The British Franchise Association (BFA) is calling on the UK's best franchisors to put themselves forward to be recognised for their business success at its 2013 awards. The three awards now open for entries are: Franchisor of the Year, Franchisee Support Award and the Brand Builder of the Year Award. The deadline for entries is Friday 5th April and national finalists will be invited for interview with the judging panel on 20th and 21st May. Winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 4th July in London.

Tax rebate phishing warning

HMRC is warning firms not to get caught out by tax rebate email phishing scams. Taxpayers reported almost 80,000 tax rebate phishing emails last year. HMRC says it never sends emails about a genuine tax rebate. If anyone receives an email offering a tax rebate and claiming to be from HMRC, they should forward it to [email protected] before deleting it permanently.

The entrepreneurial plans of retirees

Nearly a quarter (24%) of people planning to retire this year say they don't want to stop work yet, and 21% say they don't like the idea of being at home all the time in retirement, according to research from Prudential. Its Class of 2013 research tracks the plans and expectations of people entering retirement this year. It found that 9% of those expecting to retire this year, and who would consider working on, would like to earn money from a hobby, while 6% would ideally like to start their own businesses.

Keep Trade Local campaign relaunched by FSB

The horsemeat scandal has prompted the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) to encourage people to "keep trade local" by supporting their local butchers and other independent retailers. Many FSB members that own butchers shops have reported a dramatic increase in sales in recent weeks. The FSB has re-launched its Keep Trade Local campaign to highlight the important role local high streets play in our communities. Its research indicates that more of the money spent locally, stays locally with £1 spent with a local supplier worth £1.76 to the local economy. The FSB is also highlighting positive initiatives to get people to buy locally, including the Bristol pound.

HMRC launches online tax week for small firms

Small businesses are being offered interactive support with their tax affairs by HMRC with a week-long Twitter Q&A session that will give SMEs and those considering setting up a business the opportunity to ask tax-related questions. The session will take place between 25th February and 1st March. HMRC will offer help on issues such as keeping records, VAT registration, National Insurance, starting up a limited company and PAYE Real Time Information. To take part or ask a question, SMEs can follow @HMRCgovuk on Twitter and use the hashtag #biztaxhelp.