Small firms will see the cost of doing business fall this year following measures brought in by the government to help them get on.
Speaking at a Federation of Small Business (FSB) event, Prime Minister David Cameron has set out how the success of small businesses is central to the government’s long term economic plan. He pledged his commitment to continue to make it easier for small businesses to thrive.
The country’s 4.9 million small businesses could save up to £10,000 each a year by taking advantage of government measures available to them, including;
• Business Rates – £1.1 billion package of business rates measures, with extra relief announced for small businesses through the extended doubling of the Small Business Rate Relief.
Growth Vouchers – A £30 million programme which will see 20,000 small businesses receive up to £2,000 to help them access specialist support on hiring, financial management and marketing.
Broadband vouchers – 10 out of 22 cities across the UK have already started to benefit from up to £100 million of broadband vouchers worth up to £3,000 each to help more small firms boost their business by accessing faster and better broadband connectivity.
Employment Allowance – from April 2014 every business and charity will be entitled to a £2,000 Employment Allowance to reduce their employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) bill each year. Over 90% of the benefit of this allowance will go to small businesses.
• Fuel Duty – government has cancelled the planned September increase in fuel duty. The average small business with a vehicle will save £1,300 on petrol by 2015.
Regulation – more than 3,000 regulations, including employment, health and safety law and environmental legislation have been identified for scrapping or improvement through the Red Tape Challenge since 2011. This is expected to deliver savings of over £800 million a year once the measures are fully implemented.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “Small businesses play an important role in boosting growth and creating jobs. I regularly meet these companies across the UK to hear first hand how government can do its part to help small and medium sized businesses grow and succeed. We have acted on their demands by improving access to finance with the new British Business Bank which I established last year, by significantly reducing red tape and by increasing the take up of business rate relief.
“We are also tackling late payment, which affects so many small firms that still have to wait too long for cash to flow through to them. It’s important that businesses give us their feedback on this issue. The Business Exchange will help strengthen supply chains and forge good working relationships between firms of all sizes. Big firms naturally have a wealth of expertise and knowledge that small businesses can and should benefit from.”
This package is part of the government’s efforts to boost support for the growing number of small businesses across the UK. Small firms employ around 14 million people and are making an increasingly significant contribution to the British economy.
Enterprise and Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Small businesses are the bedrock of the UK economy and I’m delighted that today at the Federation for Small Business policy day, we are able to cement our commitment to help them grow.
“Small businesses are responsible for nearly half the job creation in the UK. That’s why we must continue our drive to provide the support they need to scale-up, move into new markets and hire more staff so that they can compete in the global race.”
To further support small businesses the government has been working closely with Enterprise Nation to launch The Business Exchange. This asks big businesses to link up with smaller ones to exchange skills, resources and ideas to help them grow. Building on the industrial strategy this initiative aims to strengthen the UK’s position as a great place to do business.
The government’s Growth Voucher initiative is a pioneering programme to help support 20,000 small businesses get the advice they need to achieve their growth potential. This £30 million programme will provide an immediate cash injection of up to £2,000 for eligible small businesses to gain professional business advice in areas such as marketing, recruitment and finance. The programme is now open for applications.
These new schemes are among several measures aimed at supporting small businesses and follows Small Business: GREAT Ambition – the government’s commitment to help make it easier for small businesses to grow. The statement was published last month and announced a substantive package of support for small business to remove some of the barriers they face, improve the business environment and make it easier for them to scale-up.
This sits alongside the government’s Business is GREAT campaign, which points businesses to sources of advice and support that can help them grow.