How could Osborne's Autumn Statement impact on small businesses?

With another Autumn Statement done and dusted we’ve been dissecting the details for you.

George Osborne arose in the House of Commons yesterday to deliver the annual Autumn Statement, a tax credit U-turn taking the headlines alongside promises to protect the police. Amongst these bombshells you might have missed the bits aimed specifically at small businesses, so to get you up to speed here’s a brief run-through of how this year’s Autumn Statement could impact upon you…

More rate relief, for more small businesses

According to Osborne’s assertions, rate relief for 600,000 businesses will be extended for another year. 405,000 businesses operating from a single property will benefit from 100% relief, with a further 200,000 receiving a tapered discount. A smart move, it’s one that ought to ease the strain on some of Britain’s smallest businesses.

Plus more rate control for local councils

Elsewhere, Osborne reiterated his commitment to give councils more business-rate muscle. “We’ll give councils the power to cut rates and make their area more attractive to business. And elected mayors will be able to raise rates, provided they’re used to fund specific infrastructure projects supported by the local business community,” Osborne told the Commons.

All new Enterprise Zones

As part of their pledge to ease British entrepreneurialism, the Coalition introduced Enterprise Zones back in 2012. In these designated areas small businesses can receive more government support, and under plans unveiled yesterday a further 26 will be added or extended. Over a third are to be based in the North, as part of the bid to build a Northern Powerhouse.

An end to HMRC catastrophes?

It’s fair to say that HRMC has a habit for mishaps, so in an attempt to minimalise the taxman’s mistakes, Osborne’s promised an expensive revamp. The government will invest £1.3bn in building “one of the most digitally advanced tax regimes in the world”, however, to get the best of it most businesses will need to keep track of taxes digitally by 2020.

Read more on HMRC’s reorganisation and it’s potential business repercussions, here.

A cut to the Business, Innovation and Skills budget

Something of a sting in the tail amongst the more positive proclamations, Osborne also unveiled plans to cut the government’s spending on Business, Innovation and Skills. Currently the BIS budget sits at £12.9bn but this will be reduced by 17% by 2020-2021, although Innovate UK – a government body that supports entrepreneurialism in science and technology – will apparently give out more support.

How will it manage this in face of cuts? By offering out loans rather then grants apparently.

What did you make of this year’s Autumn Statement? How will it impact on your small business? Let us know in the comments section below

Ready to set up your cover?

As the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, we specialise in public liability insurance and protect more trades than anybody else. Why not take a look now and build a quick, tailored quote?

Start your quote