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What the Autumn Statement means for businesses

Confused by the recent Autumn Statement and whether your business is likely to benefit in 2013?  Bobby Lane takes a look at some of the Chancellor’s announcements to see which ones are likely to benefit your business over the next year or so.

Corporation Tax 

If you have a larger fashion business, you will no doubt be pleased as Corporation Tax rate is going to  drop to 21% from April 2014. Whilst it’s over a year to wait, the old adage ‘Better late than never’ will chime with many who have been hoping for this reduction. However for many smaller business with profits of less than £300k the rate remains unchanged at 20%.   

State Backed Bank 

News that the Government is committed to creating a £1 billion Business bank to  help SMEs sounds promising. Yet,  there is no detail on how the money will, if ever, get into the hands of the start-ups and SMEs that so crucially need it now. It seems that there may be apathy about the latest initiative as recent research from my firm  revealed that 9 in 10 SME owners are either undecided or do not believe that the bank will be of any direct help to them. 

UK Export Finance

The Chancellor announced that UK Export Finance will provide up to £1.5 billion in loans to finance small firms exporting. Potentially this is great news, but for this scheme to be a success, businesses will need better guidance about how to access funds and understand the detail around the  financing export contracts. Six in ten business owners revealed that they did not understand the benefits and how to access  of any of the Government’s recent funding initiatives.

Annual Investment Allowance

This has been increased ten-fold from January to £250,000. This is great news if you have the cash or ability to obtain the finance for capital expenditure, but very few smaller businesses will have a spare hundreds of thousands of pounds to take advantage of the increase. 

What should have been announced? 

Where were the measures to help SMEs with the cost of employing staff and getting the finance into the hands of the businesses that need it the most? Let’s hope the Chancellor redresses the balance to favour small businesses in the Spring Budget in 2013.

Bobby Lane is a partner at Accountants and Business Advisors firm Shelley Stock Hutter LLP.  He advises many fashion and creative businesses on all aspects of their business

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