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Did Santa bring you everything you wanted?
Even if he didn’t, never fear! We’re back, and ready to help you get 2018 off to a successful start with some useful dates for the year ahead and your three month outlook.

Make Preparation your Second Name!

This year there are some major changes coming that will be especially relevant to you as a small business:

  • In May, there will be a new framework to regulate Data Protection, replacing the Data Protection Act. Although the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect as we enter the process of leaving the EU, it is still likely to be converted into British Law. Find out more here.
  • The minimum pension contribution is required to gradually increase at set times; the current minimum of 2% rises to 5% on 6th April 2018, and to a total minimum of 8% on 6th April 2019. Find out more here, or contact our payroll department.
  • Also in April, the National Living Wage and National Minimum Wage will increase. Find a list of the changed rates here.
  • The old £10 note will start being phased out as of the 1st may 2018. Make sure that after this date, any old notes that you have are not handed out; they can be changed at banks and post offices for the new polymer notes. Find out more here.
  • If you provide your employees with benefits, or for their expenses, you will have to submit a P11D form to declare this to HMRC, in case you need to pay tax and National Insurance on them. The deadline for these forms is 6th July, and if the form and/or the payment is late, you will be liable for penalties and interest. Find out more here, or contact our office for more advice.

We may already be in the teeth of the new year, but there’s still plenty to look forward to!

The Australian Open begin on the 15th, so make sure your sports packages are up to date, and that you have advertised for it – and that you have enough staff and supplies to cover it!

Burns Night is on the 25th of January – we may not be in Scotland but we can still celebrate the late, great Rabbie in style! Brush up on your whiskey knowledge and promote a few whiskey-related deals to get your customers in the spirit.

On Saturday 27th the FA Cup 4th round is showing, so just as with the Aussie Open, be sure to make preparations for heavier foot traffic if you’re showing this.

Finally, remember to start looking ahead to future events – it’s never to early to start planning, and this is often the trick to getting a one-up on your competitors.

Here comes the season of love! The big event in February is, of course, Valentines day – for which there is some stiff competition. Hopefully you will have begun decking the halls – with hearts and flowers this time – in January, as well as planning your promotional menus, and, as always, staffing.

6 Nations kicks off at the very begining of the month, with Wales v Scotland and France v Ireland on Saturday 3rd. Expect a crowd if you’re showing the games, and maybe spruce things up a little with sharing food offers and themed ales.

In the world of Football, the FA Cup continues in the middle of the month, as does the UEFA Champions League Round of 16.

Both the UEFA Champions League and the 6 Nations continue throughout March, but the real winner of March is, of course St Patrick’s Day.

On Saturday 17th, prepare your Guiness hats and emerald bunting for a raucous night celebrating the green isle! Consider upping your game with some Irish music – and I don’t mean U2! Get your patrons dancing a jig with some live folk – perhaps even offer a prize to the most enthusiastic dancer?

Just a quick reminder: Friday 30th is Good Friday, meaning an extra-long weekend for office workers and the like. Prepare your self for a four day extranveganze of day-drinking shenanigans!