As a small business ourselves and host to a centre full of SME’s, we have a vested interest in keeping a watch on any movement in the budget that could be turned to our advantage. In this article, we’ve highlighted a couple of the main points from the Autumn  budget 2017, that we feel are worth noting:

SMEs and the economy

According to Phillip Hammond, a new start-up begins every hour in the UK. The UK’s 5.5m SMEs are indeed the backbone of the country, playing a huge role in boosting the economy, due to their significant input.

According to Research conducted by the Centre For Economics and Business Research (CEBR), SME businesses contributed over £196bn to the UK’s total GDP in 2016 and provided over half of all private sector jobs.

Business rates

Business rates have been a controversial topic for some time and the news that the government is planning a switch from basing the cost of rates against the RPI (retail price index) to the CPI (consumer price index), brought forward by two years to April 2018, following concerns about potential costs of the annual uprating in April is hugely welcomed.

This will affect businesses across the spectrum but is obviously has more impact for smaller enterprises.

This change is expected to provide business rates relief to the value of £2.3bn, or more, over the next five years. There is also an extension to the existing support available for small pubs and restaurants. This extends the current £1,000 discount for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 for another year, to March 2019.

Taxation

Small Businesses employ individuals or are often soul traders themselves and as we all know taxation is a certainty we must always keep in check.

There is some good news…. from April 2018, the personal allowance will increase to £11,850, with the basic rate tax band of £34,500; higher rate tax threshold will be £46,350.

The starting rate tax band remains at £5,000 for savings income. The rates of income tax remain unchanged.

The government intends to publish a consultation in 2018 on how to make the taxation of trusts simpler, fairer, and more transparent.

Innovation

Emerging small business are generally known for their pioneering ideas and fresh, new projects. “Innovation”-related Budget 2017 grants that will benefit small businesses include a further £2.3bn announced for investment in R&D and a fund of over £500m to invest in a range of initiatives, from AI to 5G and full fibre broadband.

Also planned, is a Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, as well as a new Geospatial Data Commission, designed to make data current, complete and consistent, using automated processes.

This is an important technological tool to help ensure decisions are always based on the highest quality information available, and will help develop a strategy for using the government’s location data, which will in turn support economic growth.

Information is power!

Stamp Duty

You might argue this is a personal advantage, rather than a business one, but SME owners will know that line is often a thin one, and any gain is a universal gain.

During the Budget 2017 speech, the stamp duty announcement provoked the biggest reaction in the Commons. Of all the pre-budget rumours, this one did actually materialise. Stamp duty for first time buyers is being abolished on all property purchased up to the value of £300,000.

We will keep you posted on any more handy tips or information that emerges in the wake of the budget announcement.

We are intending to create a regular business focused bulletin aimed at small enterprises. If you would like to receive regular posts from Mexborough Business Centre, please sign up here.

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