Rates announcement a relief for small businesses

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Photo: Alastair Grant/PA Wire
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. Photo: Alastair Grant/PA Wire
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Wednesday’s announcement of an extension of the doubling of small business rate relief and a 2% cap on business rate increases to April 2016, will be a welcome news for many small firms, according to a Leighton tax specialist.

Dave Masterson who runs TaxAssist Accountants in Leighton Buzzard said the announcement in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, would benefit independent shop owners, businesses operating from small office premises, local garages, pubs, restaurants, cafés and many more.

He said: “Although we’ll have to wait until the 2016 Budget for the much-needed full review of the business rates system, these measures go some way to help to level the playing field between businesses which operate from shops and offices and their online competitors.

“Increasing the £1,000 discount on rates for pubs, restaurants and small shops with a rateable value of £50,000 or below, to £1,500 next year is also good news and will help to encourage new businesses back to the high street.

“The £500 million lending pledge for small to medium sized businesses through the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme, plus a £400 million extension to the British business bank Enterprise Capital Funds scheme, as well as extending the Funding for Lending scheme to boost bank lending to small to medium sized businesses, is welcome news for local business owners seeking vital finance for growth, but we will watch closely to see how this is actually delivered.

“Many local small businesses will also benefit from the abolition of employer National Insurance contributions for apprentices aged under 25, which will boost recruitment and training opportunities for young people, whilst the continued freeze on fuel duty is a clear benefit to business owners whose service is dependent on home deliveries.”