Earlier today, Chancellor George Osborne announced the 2013 Budget, revealing a 1p tax cut to beer and new initiatives to help home buyers. But small business owners across the country were more concerned with what benefits the Chancellor would announce for them.
Right from the start, it seemed like this year’s Budget would be a positive one for entrepreneurs. Opening his speech, Osborne said: “This is a Budget for those who aspire to own their own home; who aspire to get their first job; or start their own business… It is a Budget for our Aspiration Nation.”
So far, so good. But what benefits will small businesses actually see from this Budget?
First off, the Chancellor discussed some rather woolly intentions to ‘consider whether there are potential extensions’ to the Funding for Lending Scheme and to ‘set out plans’ for the proposed Business Bank.
However, as the speech progressed, things began to look more promising for small businesses.
The Chancellor went on to announce the Employment Allowance, which will be introduced next April with the aim of creating jobs and backing small businesses. Under the new initiative, the first £2,000 will be taken off the employer National Insurance bill of every company. For around 450,000 small businesses in the country, this will mean they pay no jobs tax at all.
The Chancellor said: “For the person who’s set up their own business, and is thinking about taking on their first employee – a huge barrier will be removed.”
Other benefits announced for small businesses included the funding of growth vouchers to be cashed in for advice on how to expand, and boosts to the Small Business Research Initiative.
Some other general changes are set to have a positive impact on small businesses. The Chancellor announced that the tax-free personal allowance will rise to £10,000 next year, making workers all over the country better off. The proposed 3p increase in fuel duty has been scrapped, which will benefit individuals as well as small businesses dealing with transport and delivery.
Some commentators believe that the government is still doing too little to help small businesses, but today’s Budget is certainly a step in the right direction.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has praised the new initiatives, with National Chairman John Walker saying: “The FSB asked for a budget for small businesses and this is what has been delivered. This Budget opens the door for small firms to grow and create jobs. The Chancellor has pulled out all the stops with a wide-ranging package of measures to support small firms.
Do you think this year’s budget is positive for small businesses? Leave us a comment to let us know.