Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) featured heavily in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on December 5, with the announcement of support measures including help with business rates.
Subsequent to the statement, the £1 billion government-funded Start Up Loans scheme has received a further £250 million in funding in a bid to help SMEs benefit from the economic recovery.
The Start Up Loans scheme is one of a range of government-backed schemes being brought together under the British Business Bank initiative. The bank, being set up by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, expects to generate more than £500 million in new lending and investment for the UK’s smaller businesses each year.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “Small businesses are working hard to fuel our recovery and help us build a stronger economy.
“I am determined that we do all we can to help companies that have struggled to get the investment they need – investment that means they can employ those extra people, take on that new order, and buy that new equipment.”
Business-friendly measures included in the Autumn Statement include:
- a business rates cap of two per cent in the 2014-15 financial year, rather than rate rises being linked to RPI inflation
- a business rates discount of £1,000 for retail and food and drink premises with a rateable value of below £50,000 for two years from April 2014
- a 50 per cent reoccupation relief for businesses who relocate into empty retail properties between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2016
- from April 2014, a new tax relief will be introduced for companies who invest in new social impact bonds and social enterprises
- scrapping employers’ national insurance contributions for under-21s
- a pledge to double export finance support to £50 billion, while extra backing will go towards helping 50,000 new business start-ups across the UK.
At Milsted Langdon, we understand that the day-to-day running of your business can leave you little time to think about how measures outlined in the Autumn Statement could affect you. To find out more about what the Chancellor’s announcement means for your business, and what steps you might need to take as a result, please contact us.