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.
For full coverage of Budget 2013, click here.
About Lucie Mitchell
I'm a contributing editor of BusinessZone.co.uk, published by Sift Media. I worked for Sift for years in a number of roles including editor of HRzone.co.uk and health & education editor of PublicTechnology.net and am now working as a freelance.