The theme this week is one of a number of steps which the government is taking, rather than just one commercial issue. And as we are approaching the Festive season isn’t it good to concentrate on a few good things – and they even put the authorities in a good (ish) light!

The first involves the wonderfully named VAT MOSS issue (no, nothing to do with rolling stones… ). Enterprise Nation seems to have taken this on board with gusto, as a result of which HMRC are clarifying the regulations and even making them (in my humble view!) slightly fairer – for fuller details see In essence, you need only pay attention to this if you supply digital services over the internet.

The second relates to a problem which most small businesses dealing with larger companies are likely to face at some stage or other – late payment – the Government is set to stamp it out! Wonderful headlines (as you might expect) but we can only hope that the legislation has some beneficial effect – see for more details – it is at least a step in the right direction, even if the effects may not be quite as comprehensive as the headline suggests.

And finally, the government is frequently criticised – not least by me! – for the lack of a joined up strategy for helping small businesses; they seem to be getting the message, as the latest pronouncement from Matthew Hancock, the business minister, is that a number of government programmes are to be brought under one roof in an attempt to encourage more entrepreneurs to access them. The Business Growth Service will combine a number of publicly funded schemes for small businesses as part of a drive to simplify the existing initiatives. The service will manage the £200 million growth accelerator and the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS), as well as support schemes from the Intellectual Property Service and the Design Council.

Back in the New Year!

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