• The Chancellor’s Autumn Statement in November included announcements on new business-boosting enterprise zones (w www.enterprisezones.communities.gov.uk); a 12-month extension to the Small Business Rate Relief (www.gov.uk/apply-for-business-rate-relief/small-business-rate-relief); and the planned digital reform of tax (www.gov.uk).

The latter will see businesses and the self-employed required to update HMRC digitally each quarter on their tax affairs from 2020. George Osborne made no mention of whether the new approach will also require tax to be paid sooner or more regularly.

• November saw the launch of a UK government website that offers real-time export opportunities that businesses can apply for online. The five-year programme is part of a move by the government to get 100,000 more companies exporting by 2020. The opportunities, which are said to be valued at more that £300 million, with more on the way, can be accessed at www.exportingisgreat.gov.uk.

The Exporting is Great initiative includes a year-long roadshow around the UK, where potential exporters can get advice, while The Essential Guide to Exporting is available to download from the website, along
with a wealth of other practical information on how to start exporting.