Another busy issue as we launch this year’s Forecourt Trader Awards (see page 26) and preview this month’s Forecourt Show at the NEC, Birmingham (see page 35). Both are significant events in the forecourt industry calendar for similar reasons: they provide a great opportunity for networking; and the chance to discover a new or better way of doing things.

Aspiring to greater things is what this industry’s all about, whether it’s growing sales and revenue or improving services and facilities. There are many of you constantly pushing at the boundaries, such as David Charman’s fantastic new store, (see page 7); Maxol investing £40m in a new brand identity and improved operating standards (see page 20); and retailers showing off their great toilet facilities in our Best Forecourt Loo 2013 competition by the way, the winner will be announced at The Forecourt Show.

The Top 50 Indies dinner was buzzing as the top retailers chatted about the future, and later in the month one of the group, Symonds Forecourts, the current Forecourt Trader of the Year, also won Budgens Forecourt of the Year.

The announcement about the Costcutter and Palmer & Harvey partnership deal has also prompted some positive response from Mace retailers anticipating an improved service all round.

Even the Budget wasn’t so bad, with its scrapping of the fuel duty tax rise in September, a National Insurance incentive to employ more staff, and the promise of faster payments from credit card providers for small retail customers.

There are even rumours that Murco which has been up for sale since July 2010 might be close to sealing a deal to sell its refinery/retail network. It may be nothing but there haven’t even been any rumours till now... Anyway, I’m just saying. There’s lots going on and lots to be positive about if you hang out in the right places (and don’t talk about E10!). One of those places is The Forecourt Show. See you there.