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Paul Caunter reviews the 2019 Spring Statement and explores the measures most likely to affect SMEs:
With a backdrop of ‘clouds of uncertainty’ over Brexit, Philip Hammond’s Spring Statement was surprisingly positive for UK SMEs, but on the proviso that the country manages to avoid a no-deal Brexit scenario.
- Tackling late payments
The Chancellor pledged to tackle the problem of late payments, which continue to affect cash flow for SMEs. Large companies will need an audit committee, led by a non-executive director, to report on payment practices when dealing with small businesses in their annual accounts.
- Energy efficiency
The Statement also included a pledge to help small businesses cut their carbon emissions and lower their energy bills. The Chancellor called for evidence on the Business Energy Efficiency Scheme, to see how the government might support investment in energy efficiency measures.
Acknowledging the financial difficulties the Apprenticeship Levy places on small and medium sized businesses, the Chancellor announced he will be bringing forward his plan to provide £700 million to help SMEs invest in apprenticeships. From 1st April, the co-investment amount paid by employers will reduce from 10% cent to 5%.
- Digital competition rules
The Chancellor also announced that he will respond later in the year to findings from a report into competition rules for the digital age, with a view to boosting competition and innovation for the benefit of consumers and businesses.
For further information on any of these points, don’t hesitate to contact the Ignition team on 01872 272900.
With huge uncertainties over Brexit, our Managing Director Paul Caunter gives some advice on how your business can prepare for the storms ahead. Click here.
The Truro-based provider of vehicle and asset finance for UK SME’s, Ignition, has made the Western Morning News Fast Growth 75 list for the fifth consecutive year, and has been placed in the top 20 for the second year running.
Compiled in partnership with accountancy firm KPMG and law firm Stevens Scown, the list is the ‘who’s who’ for businesses in the Devon and Cornwall region that have grown and expanded, creating jobs and wealth.
To be included in the list, companies need to have a registered office and to operate from Devon or Cornwall, have a turnover greater than £100,000 in the first of the four years’ accounts reviewed and over £1 million in the latest year, and have a consistent reporting structure throughout the four years. All the companies that met these criteria were then ranked by mean sales growth over the four-year period to arrive at the final list of 75.
Ignition’s Managing Director, Paul Caunter, comments:
“We’re immensely proud to have made the Fast Growth 75 list again, and to have equalled our 19th position. The list tends to change significantly every year, with more than half the companies included this year not ranked last year. This makes it all the more remarkable that we have featured consistently for 5 years and kept our place near the top of the table.
“Our continued success comes from the strength of our team, our commitment to the business, and the excellent service we offer our customers.”
To view the full list of companies click here.
Paul Caunter reviews the 2018 Autumn Budget and explores the measures most likely to affect SMEs:
In Philip Hammond’s Budget announcement yesterday, the last before Brexit, he declared that ‘austerity is coming to an end, but discipline will remain’. Over and above plans to boost public services, there were several measures of interest to the business world and SMEs in particular.
- Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) increase
Currently, the tax-free amount that businesses can spend on building and machinery is £200,000. From 1st January 2019, this will increase to £1m for a two-year period. This will be welcomed by UK businesses and is likely to encourage spending and investment on fixed assets. For those businesses with accounting periods straddling the 1st January date, it could lead to some complex calculations. Further information is provided on the Gov.uk website here.
- Business rates cut for retailers
All retailers in England with a rateable value of £51,000 or less will have their business rates cut by a third. The move is expected to benefit around 90% of all independent shops, pubs, restaurants and cafes. A further £675m has been pledged for a Future High Streets Fund to help councils rejuvenate high streets.
- Apprenticeships fee halved
It was announced that the 10% fee that small businesses must pay to contribute to training when they take on apprentices will be halved to 5% as part of a £695 million package to support UK apprenticeships.
- Personal Allowance threshold increases
The Chancellor is raising the tax-free personal allowance threshold to £12,500, and the higher rate threshold to £50,000, bringing forward a former pledge to raise the thresholds from 2020. The Treasury says the move will cut taxes for 32m people.
- Brexit preparations
In light of growing uncertainty about Brexit, Mr Hammond announced an extra £500m to prepare for the possibility of the UK leaving the EU without a deal. Faced with this scenario, he has acknowledged that a whole new Budget would be required. He also promised a ‘double deal dividend’ if the UK and the EU reached agreement over Brexit, which could result in further spend on public services.
For further information, contact the Ignition team on 01872 272900.