In the build up to the 2015 general election, small business owners were regularly told how the Conservatives were the party of enterprise.
George Osborne subsequently unveiled his Summer Budget almost two months ago, unleashing measures designed to build his ‘nation of shopkeepers’. With the dust now settled let’s see what he’s got planned…
(No longer) easy like Sunday morning
Current laws mean that any store larger than 3,000 sq ft are forced to reduce their Sunday trading hours.
However, in the biggest change to trading laws since the 1990’s, Osborne confirmed that local authorities will now be allowed to govern the opening times of their larger stores.
This could see small shop owners fall further victim to competition from the large chain supermarkets already taking their trade.
Changes to Employment Allowance
The owner and sole employee of a limited company? It’s bad news for you. As of April 2016, the £2000 Employment Allowance that allows you to reduce National Insurance bills will be withdrawn.
However, if you do employ other members of staff there’ll be a raise to £3000 in Employment Allowance.
Less taxing tax
In news that’ll come as a relief to many small business owners, the government promised to establish the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) on a permanent basis.
The OTS will look to assist the government in fixing what many feel is an overly complex system. Whilst red-tape remains a huge pain point for lots of shop owners, this move at least proves engagement with an increasingly influential audience.
“Britain deserves a pay rise”
As Summer Budget announcements went, few received more attention than the Chancellor’s plans for a new National Living Wage.
Starting in April 2016, the wage will begin at £7.20 before rising to £9 an hour by 2020.
Corporation tax decreases
Not content ‘bringing business back to Britain’ (in his own words) with a reduced Corporation Tax rate of 20%, Osborne has announced that it will be cut further to 19% in 2017.
The rate will be reduced again by 2020, as the Chancellor aims for a Corporation Tax of 18%.
All in all then it’s a mixed bag for the nation’s shop owners, who appear to be coming off the back of a difficult summer.
Did the Summer Budget bring positive news? Or will announcements such as the Sunday trading laws reform damage UK shop owners? Let us know in the comments below!