Tory-Linked PPE Firm Issued with Winding Up Order By HMRC

A company with links to a prominent Conservative peer that secured a fast-track government PPE contract during the COVID pandemic has been slapped with a winding up petition by HMRC.

PPE Medpro Ltd was incorporated on 12 May 2020, just days after Tory peer Michelle Mone contacted procurement minister Theodore Agnew with an offer to source personal protective equipment for the NHS from Hong Kong. Mone took the step having apparently first consulted Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove.

Within six weeks, the company was handed two separate contracts worth a total of £200 million. As part of the government’s ‘VIP lane’ fast-track scheme to supply the NHS and care sector with enough personal protective equipment at the height of the pandemic, PPE Medpro did not have to go through a competitive tender for either contract.

World’s Largest Collectibles Publisher Latest to Fall Victim to Post-COVID Slump

Fans of comic book spin-off magazines and collectibles are mourning the news that Eaglemoss Ltd has filed for administration under the burden of massive post-pandemic debts.

In operation since 1975, Eaglemoss had grown into a leading specialist in licensed collectibles, producing, marketing and selling merchandise for cult film and TV series like Dr Who, Star Trek, Ghostbusters and DC Comics.

In particular, it is recognised as the world’s biggest name in so-called part works publishing -  a sub-category of the magazine industry that focuses on serialised, collectible publications with time-limited runs. Part works publications are often accompanied by free gifts for readers to collect. 

Late Payments Compounding Inflation Crisis for Small Businesses - FSB Chief

The new head of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has told the government the UK’s late payment culture is hurting the ability of SMEs to deal with spiralling costs.

In an audience at Number 10 Downing Street, Martin McTague, who was appointed chair of the Federation in March, spelled out his concerns about the economic challenges facing the UK’s five million small businesses.

High on the list was the on-going issue of late payments, which McTague said was holding back post-COVID recovery in the SME sector and causing unnecessary financial distress as inflation hit a 40 year high

SBC: Late Payments “Could Get Worse Before They Get Better”

The Small Business Commissioner (SBC) Liz Barclay fears the UK’s late payment crisis “could get worse before it gets better.”

Speaking to the Federation of Small Business’s First Voice podcast, Ms Barclay conceded that more and more small businesses were suffering as a result of late payments “in the current climate”, and was not optimistic about the situation improving any time soon.

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