SMEs finally recognised in Autumn Statement

Dains welcomes measures introduced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement to help SMEs.

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 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.

We are encouraged by the plans to support businesses, especially those on the high street. The move to increase the business rates discount is very pleasing to see. Business rates are particularly problematic for retailers who are fighting for business against online retailers, so this is most definitely welcomed.

Businesses should seek professional advice with tax planning. We urge business owners to carefully study the details of George Osborne’s Autumn Statement and contact us to see how they can personally benefit.