Recognising that SMEs make the biggest contribution to the creation of jobs and wealth in the UK this final Autumn Statement of the current parliament ahead of the general election in May 2015 includes a number of measures particularly relevant to them.
These include an increase (to 230%) in the tax relief for expenditure on qualifying research and development work; extending the abolition of the NIC “jobs tax” to apprentices under 25; providing further finance both for the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme (£400m) and for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme (£500m).
High street retailers will also benefit from a business rate discount that rises from £1,000 to £1,500 (with a full review of the structure of business rates promised by 2016); a £45m package will be made available for first time exporters; and there will also be tax relief available for businesses in flooded areas.
Christopher Brown, a partner at the UK200Group firm Hart Shaw Business Recovery Servcies, said: “We were encouraged by the plans to support businesses, especially those on the high street.
“The move to increase the business rates discount is very positive; business rates are particularly problematic for retailers who are fighting for business against online retailers, so this is most definitely welcomed.”
Christopher Brown added that businesses should seek professional advice with financial planning to ensure that their businesses are in the best possible shape to take advantage of the growing economy: “We would encourga business owners to carefully study the details of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and contact
us to see how they can personally benefit.”
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