Chancellor announces measures to help business

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In his budget today, the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, unveiled a package of measures designed to help small businesses.

Business rates will be cut for one year from October, which Mr Darling said would be a reduction in payments for more than half a million small businesses. 345,000 will pay no business rates at all.

The Annual Investment Allowance will be doubled, to £100,000. The Chancellor said that this would help small businesses expand, by allowing them to deduct all plant expenses from profits in the first year. However, the Institute of Directors said that the majority of firms would see no benefit from this, “because their investment is smaller than the old £50,000 limit”.

There are new measures to try to expand credit lines available to business. RBS and Lloyds will provide £94bn of new business loans, nearly half to smaller companies. There will be a new credit adjudicator to look into cases where small business owners feel they have unfairly been denied credit.

A new initiative called UK Finance for Growth will oversee £4bn in government aid for business. An additional 15% of government contracts will be awarded to SMEs, which could mean an addition £15bn of new business across the whole of the public sector.

The CBI called the Budget “a series of modest but helpful changes”.

Sadly for many, there was no backtrack on the government’s plan to increase to employer National Insurance contributions, which the Federation of Small Businesses has shown will cost 57,000 jobs.

eBay praised the decision to cut business rates, calling it an “important boost” for online firms. eBay UK’s new MD, Clare Gilmartin, said: “Cutting edge firms like these are essential to restoring the British economy to growth, and we are pleased that the Chancellor is listening to their concerns.”

Excellent sentiments. Let’s just hope Ms Gilmartin practices what she preaches, ehh.

11 Responses

  1. I thought much the same when I read the eBay statement re business rates and listening to the concrns of the business community. It does make them a hostage to fortune and makes you wonder if they’ll practice what they preach.

    Imagine eBay cutting fees and listening to customers.

  2. Yea Great….Business rates cut, BUT they are not telling you, they’ve just put our’s up £450 for year 2010/11.

    I can only but wonder how the banks will act when told ‘the new credit adjudicator’ has ruled that your own branch & Manager were wrong not to lend you more money’.. 😯


  3. astonished Darling does not look at ways of recovering all the tax and business rates avoided on ebay

  4. Typical load of bull from the government about helping small businesses – they still don’t realise that a small business isn’t someone with 200 employees, but the real backbone of the country is the 1-5 employee company who probably won’t benefit from any of the budget.

    Freeze on personal tax allowances (which equates to a loss due to inflation) and an increase in the cost of the beer to drown my sorrows.

    Nothing to lower the burden of VAT or any real measures that would really benefit truly SMALL businesses then.

  5. “An additional 15% of government contracts will be awarded to SMEs”

    They can be VERY lucrative, as there is so much waste and inefficiency in local Government depts!

    Some years ago, the was a ‘push’ to localise supply lines where ever possible, I won a contract to supply one of our localised depts – they rang me and asked if I had made a mistake on my quote, as it was a lot cheaper than they were already paying. OK I priced the quote keenly to try and get the contract, but not that keenly, so I said yes sorry, and resubmitted at £5.00 more – I got the contract !

  6. Agree with Chris, nothing here for small business. If they want to help small business then how about an increase of vat threshold to £100k
    or some cash in brown envelopes so we can ask some questions.



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