There has been a lot of lobbying from the different business organisations in the run up to the Autumn Statement calling for a variety of methods to help small businesses. The government has been very keen to promote start-up business as a way of generating growth however a number of the initiatives they have launched have met with a lukewarm response. Funding for Lending appears to be floundering while the take-up for the government’s start-up loans has reportedly been very slow.
So let’s take a look at what new initiatives are in the Autumn Statement to help start-ups:
- The Annual Investment Allowance limit is being raised from £25,000 to £250,000. This is a tax break aimed at encouraging businesses to invest in equipment and machinery.
- The government has re-announced their small business bank with£1 billion in funding, although there is still no date on when it will launch or detail on how it will work.
- There are promises of more investment in infrastructure and a new version of the regional growth funds which could indirectly benefit start-ups.
- There will be a 1% cut in the main rate of corporation tax and the capital gains exemption will be increased by 1%, both of which could be of benefit to start-ups and entrepreneurs.
- Increased support for UKTI to promote exports and a £1.5 billion loan fund for the purchase of exports.
- £10 million in funding for Local Enterprise Partnerships which have been trialled in selected cities.
- The controversial plan to allow employees to swap employment rights for equity is going ahead.
- The Small Business Rates Relief programme is being extended for another 12 months.
- The simplified tax regime for sole traders is being extended from businesses with a turnover of £72,000 up to the VAT threshold of £77,000.
So while there are no standout measures aimed at start-up businesses there are quite a few measures which will help around the edges. The simplification of some tax measures and the reduction in some tax rates might help some business. Likewise the extension of the Business Rates relief is likely to have an impact for a lot of start-ups.
The measures with the potential to have a really big impact on start-ups, the small business bank and the ramping up of infrastructure investment, both seem a way off. We are promised a speech by Vince Cable later this month with more details of support for businesses so hopefully we will get more details then.