Former News Items

A selection of recent news items and articles in case you missed them:

The British Chamber of Commerce has published a report highlighting the lack of awareness among exporters about forthcoming changes when shipping certain goods to EU countries

New research by the BCC has uncovered that the vast majority of businesses are unaware and unprepared for a swathe of fast approaching changes in EU/UK regulations.

When asked about their knowledge of a number of changes coming down the track, the survey of more than 700 firms found:

  • 84% of manufacturers do not know about new reporting requirements on exports of goods containing high-carbon steel, and selected other products, to the EU starting in October
  • 87% of exporters are either unaware or unprepared for new EU VAT requirements due in January 2025
  • 43% of manufacturers are still unaware of the UK’s, now voluntary, alternative product safety marking system to the EU’s CE one

While not all of the incoming changes to regulations will impact every firm, the wide range of new rules, and the complexity of their requirements, means many businesses will face new obstacles.

You can read the full Chamber of Commerce article on the BCC website 

For information about the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) Reports, visit the Customs Support website

For further background information on the planned changes to the EU VAT system, visit BDO's website

For information about the use of the UKCA and EU safety standard marks visit the website

Article added 18th September 2023

The ban on the sale of single-use plastic cutlery etc. is due to come into effect on 1st October

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is urging retailers to start preparing for the single-use plastic ban coming into force on 1 October.

Bira CEO Andrew Goodacre advises retailers to really understand the new regulations and start planning to use up old stock. “The message is clear, get to know the rules, start planning and tell the customer you have made the changes. It might even be possible to turn this cost into an opportunity”.

To read the article published by Sustainability/Beat, visit the sustainability-beat website or to read the Government guidance go to the website.

Article added 18th September 2023

Government delays Brexit food import checks for fifth time

30 August 2023

The government has confirmed that the roll out of post-Brexit border controls on food and fresh products will be delayed for a fifth time, to next year.

Government delays Brexit food import checks for fifth time - FarmingUK News


New "Head On" Skills training workshops
Cosmic's Head On Training Scheme for Maths Skills

Cosmic are currently offering free workshops which will arm you with helpful advice, tools and techniques to tackle the cost-of-living crisis “Head On”.

• Gain confidence with saving, spending and planning
• Develop new habits and achieve your financial goals
• Improve your financial wellbeing and digital skills
• Feel empowered to make better decisions

Topics include:
‘Money matters’, ‘Budgeting basics’, ‘Cost of living hacks’, ‘Tackling debt Head-on’, and ‘Savvy for self-employment’.

This project is open to individuals aged 19+ in Devon who have not previously attained a GCSE Grade 4 / C
or higher maths qualification.

For more information, visit the Multiply Project website or contact 

Article published 18th July 2023

UKEF backs British exporters with £6.5 billion

Published 28.06.2023

  • UK Export Finance has provided £6.5 billion to help UK companies, particularly small and medium-sized businesses
  • This has helped to support up to 55,000 jobs in communities across the UK and contributed up to £4.1 billion to the economy
  • New figures unveiled as part of the Export Credit Agency’s Annual Report and Accounts 2022-23

UKEF has also launched a new business-friendly website to make it easier for firms of all sizes to find out more about its services on offer, and to access the finance they need to grow.


Logo of the South West Enterprise Fund

Grant Scheme for young people starting or growing a business

The South West Enterprise Fund offers business grants of up to £2,000 to aid with business expenses such as the purchase of equipment or product development, ​as well as follow-up business support for young people aged between 18 - 30.

Grants provide funding for individuals or teams working on a newly established business i.e. has been trading for less than 2 years and must be for costs directly related to the business.

They also offer access to a network of other people in the same position, i.e. in the early stages of starting their business, and to a business mentor who can act as an independent sounding board for any business issue you would like to discuss.

For further information and details about how to apply, visit the SWEF Website

Published 9th May 2023

Business Finance Week 2023

From 6-10 November the British Business Bank, along with several partners from across the UK, will host Business Finance Week 2023.

With a host of free of charge nationwide and regional in-person events, webinars and more, Business Finance Week helps smaller businesses learn about the different finance options available to them to support their individual needs.

Take a look at the list of events happening during the week, including ‘A Masterclass in raising digital investment’ being held at the Exeter Science Park on the 7th November. See the full events list here.

Article published 01.11.2023

New Exmoor Business Directory Launched

Rural Enterprise Exmoor

A brand-new online directory of businesses operating in and around Exmoor National Park has been launched as part of the Rural Enterprise Exmoor initiative which seeks to retain greater community wealth in the area.

For any businesses working in or around Exmoor, or supplying goods or services to people within the National Park, the site can be found at Rural Enterprise Exmoor and already has over 200 listings, with other businesses from all sectors urged to sign-up for free.

Published 10th March 2023

New Government website launched to help businesses find information and support

Help to Grow website

The Department for Business and Trade (DBT) has unveiled a new centralised website, targeted at helping the UK’s 5.5 million businesses.

The new ‘Help to Grow’ site from DBT is aimed at upskilling both big and small businesses across the country by helping them to:

  • Learn new skills
  • Reach more customers
  • Boost business profits

Businesses have reported that they need easy to find information from the Government, and this centralised page has been launched to make it simpler for firms to find, access and use the information and support they need in one central space.

For further information, read the Press Release from the Department for Business and Trade or to access the new website visit Help to Grow

Published 8th March 2023

Decarbonise Devon Banner image

Decarbonise Devon offers a ‘one-stop-shop’ for businesses in Devon that wish to implement energy-saving measures, with support from local experts through the whole process of developing and implementing a project. The service is being delivered by EPConnect with funding from Devon County Council and is hosted by the Devon Energy Collective.

Businesses are increasingly concerned about how they will manage rising energy costs and want to reduce their energy use but it can be difficult to know where to start.  Identifying which measures are right for your business, finding good installers and financing the project can all be challenging, so many businesses never get their projects off the ground.

Qualified energy assessors will offer free, no-obligation energy assessments for businesses in Devon. These will guide businesses on the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs: this could be through the use of technologies such as solar panels, efficient lighting, heating upgrades and insulation.

Decarbonise Devon can provide all the technical expertise to look after the whole process: planning, project management, accessing finance, finding trustworthy contractors, even verifying impact.

For further information click here

Published 19th January 2023


Government launches campaign to help businesses drive down energy bills - GOV.UK (

New campaign launched today to help organisations save money on their energy bills by improving energy efficiency  Click here for further details


Energy Bills Discount Scheme for UK businesses

The government announces the new “Energy Bills Discount Scheme” for UK businesses, charities, and the public sector from April.

Published 9 January 2023

The government unveils new “Energy Bills Discount Scheme” for businesses - GOV.UK (



Information about a couple of new programmes available locally:

Published 6th January 2023

Photo of a handshake

Get Local Authority Procurement Ready with Get Set to Tender

If you want to win contracts from Local Government, Get Set to Tender will help you to better understand procurement and tenders and enable you to bid for opportunities in the public sector.

Through a blend of 2-hour group workshops and 1-2-1 support, Get Set to Tender will:

  • Introduce you to procurement and tendering,
  • Explore how to access public sector opportunities,
  • Review your past bid performance,
  • And help with a live tender bid.

The programme is funded by Devon County Council and delivered by Tender Victory. To apply online, please complete this short form or email To register to attend a free workshop, please click here

Beach scene with a heart drawn in the sand

Start 2023 afresh with Wellbeing Works

Wellbeing Works offers an exciting opportunity for Devon based businesses (excluding Plymouth and Torbay), employees, and individuals to benefit from the tools, techniques, and inspiration we need to prioritise and develop our wellbeing and resilience.

Through a 1-2-1 Wellbeing Check-In (online and in-person), Wellbeing Works can help you to take time out of your day to prioritise your wellbeing, and to:

  • Take stock of your wellbeing and share your challenges
  • Feel inspired to take positive steps towards greater wellbeing
  • Be signposted to resources and support for your wellbeing journey

Book your wellbeing check-in here, or call 01392 248919

Wellbeing Works has a range of inspiring and informative online wellbeing workshops, including:

  • Wellbeing at Work - Wednesday 11th January, 6pm-7:30pm
  • 5 Ways to Wellbeing - Thursday 19th January, 12pm-1:30pm

Wellbeing Works can also offer workshops to your organisation completely free. This tailored 90-minute workshop can be delivered face-to-face or online, and can cover wellbeing in general, or be focused on meditation, mindfulness, using vision boards, or FIKA (the Swedish way to pause and connect).

For more information, please visit the Wellbeing Works website or contact

Delayed Implementation of MTD

Published 22 December 2022

MTD Graphic Image

The Government has announced that they will delay the implementation of Making Tax Digital (M.T.D.) for Income Tax Self-Assessment. Mandatory phasing-in is now due to start in April 2026 (instead of April 2024 as planned).

From April 2026, self-employed individuals and landlords with annual income in excess of £50k will be required to keep digital records and submit quarterly updates to H.M.R.C. with details of income and expenditure using M.T.D.-compliant software.

From 2027, this will be extended to those with income of between £30k and £50k.

The Government has also announced a Review to consider how M.T.D. can be shaped to suit the needs of smaller businesses (particularly those with income of less than £30k) – so, watch this space!

To read the Government announcement in full click this link

Household Support Fund October 2022 – March 2023

Published 15 December 2022

The Government has made more money available to local councils to provide further funding for households who might be struggling most with the increase in the cost of living.

Please visit the local council pages in your area to find out more:

North Devon Council click here

Torridge District Council click here

Autumn Statement 2022: what it means for small businesses

Published 21st November 2022

Click here for further details

Paperless trade for UK businesses to boost growth

Published 12 October 2022

Electronic Trade Documents Bill ends need for paper-based trading documents

Click here for further details

A hand-up for start-ups: 33,000 new loans for small businesses as £900 million government scheme widened

Published 25 September 2022

The Business Secretary has widened eligibility of Start Up Loans scheme to businesses trading for up to 3 years.

  • Start Up Loans of up to £25,000 now available to start-ups that have been trading for up to 3 years, up from 2 years
  • new ‘second loans’ available for businesses that have been trading for up to 5 years
  • loans to provide much-needed support for the UK’s innovators and entrepreneurs

Click here for further details  

Energy bills support factsheet  - Support for businesses and non-domestic properties

Updated 21 September 2022

A new 6 month scheme for businesses and other non-domestic energy users (including charities and public sector organisations like schools) will be offered support as is being provided for consumers.

After this initial 6 month scheme, the government will provide ongoing focused support for vulnerable industries.

There will be a review in 3 months’ time to consider where this should be targeted to make sure those most in need get support.

Find out more about the Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

Click here for further details