20th Mar 2013
This year’s Budget has been welcomed by many entrepreneurs as being 'small business friendly'. Here, we take a look at some of the key measures announced for small firms.
- Introduction of a £2,000 Employment Allowance from April 2014, to reduce employer national insurance contributions (NICs) for all businesses, meaning 450,000 small businesses will no longer pay any employer NICs.
- The controversial 'shares for rights' scheme to be made more generous, with the first £2,000 of share value that anyone receives under the new status to be free from income tax and NICs.
- Extension of capital gains tax relief for the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) for a further year.
- Cancellation of the fuel duty increase that was planned for 1 September 2013. According to the Budget report, this means that it will "cost the typical motorist £7 less to fill up their tank every time they visit the pump from April. In addition, a small business could have saved £340 in total over the last two years and will continue to save at least £340 a year".
- The government to provide £30m for an SME Growth Vouchers programme in England to test a variety of approaches to help SMEs overcome barriers to achieving growth.
- Expansion of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) with an increase in the value of contracts through this route from £40m in 2012-13 to over £100m in 2013-14 and over £200m in 2014-15.
- Abolition of stamp duty on shares for companies listed on growth markets including the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) and the ISDX Growth Market, from April 2014.
- Introduction of a capital gains tax relief on the sale of a controlling interest in a business into an employee ownership structure.
- Introduction of a new tax relief to encourage private investment in social enterprise.
- The Technology Strategy Board to design and launch a new competition of up to £15m, inviting consortia bids to support digital content production through partnerships with industry, including specialist SMEs, educational research facilities and training providers.