Boost for local businesses from the Autumn Statement

  • The Autumn Statement gave some useful additional help to many small  businesses. It helps shops, pubs, cafes and small firms with small premises by offering cuts in business rates, provides more credit for business, and helps with the cost of taking on apprentices. I quote from the Chancellor’s letter about this topic:


  • “More Help for the High Street. The £1,000 business rates discount for shops, pubs and cafes with a rateable value of £50,000 or below will increase to £1,500.


  • Abolishing Employer National Insurance contributions on apprentices under 25. We will abolish Employer National Insurance contributions on apprentices under the age of 25. This will start from April 2016, alongside our policy to abolish employer NICs for under 21 year olds from April 2015. More detail is available on in the Autumn Statement document.


  • Action on business rates. We have extended the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief again – it benefits over half a million firms and means over a third of a million firms pay no rates. We will continue to cap the inflation-linked increase in business rates at 2%, and there will be a full review of the structure of business rates to report before Budget 2016.


  • Boosting lending to small businesses. We will extend the Funding for Lending scheme by a year and focus it entirely on smaller businesses. To improve access to credit for smaller businesses, new funding for British Business Bank programmes will unlock up to £1bn of finance and we will encourage peer-to-peer lending.


  • Backing the UK’s leading Research and Development activity. We will increase the R&D tax credit for SME firms to 230%.


  • Revolutionising postgraduate support. We will make government-backed student loans of up to £10,000 available for the first time ever and across all disciplines, to all young people undertaking post-grad masters degrees, so that Britain can become the world leader for innovation and young people are able to become experts in their fields.


  • Investing in Britain’s infrastructure. We have set out plans for the biggest road building programme for a generation, we’ve committed £2.3 billion to improve our flood defences, and we are expanding tax relief on business investment in those flood defences as well.”