Five ways SMEs can get financial support for their business

09.05.2022
James Rix
News
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With the cost of living and the Bank of England interest rates increasing as well as the cost of most items being on the up, now is the time to be reviewing costs and saving money where possible. Below are five items which will provide some financial support to businesses. This list is not exhaustive but provides newly introduced or recently changed packages in light of the Spring Statement.

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1. Claim up to £5,000 with the Employment Allowance

Employment Allowance is a tax relief which allows eligible businesses to reduce National Insurance contributions (NICs) bills each year. Irrespective of the trading entity e.g. unincorporated, LLP or Company, providing there is a business and the employer Class 1 National Insurance liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year. Providing the criterion are met, the £5,000 allowance applies to your business, not to individual employees. So, for example, if the NI bill is £5,500 in total for the tax year, only the £500 excess will be paid.

HMRC have said that this increase of £1,000 will effect half a million SMEs (30% of all businesses). This includes around 50,000 businesses which will be taken out of paying NICs and the Health and Social Care Levy entirely.

2. Get a discount of up to £5,000 on software, with Help to Grow

Help to Grow: Digital is a UK-wide government-backed scheme that aims to help businesses choose, buy and adopt digital technologies that will help them grow their business. Eligible businesses can receive a 50% discount on buying new software worth up to £5,000 per SME, alongside free impartial advice and guidance about what digital technology is best suited to boost their business performance.

Businesses can also access practical, specialised support and advice on how to choose the right digital technologies to boost their growth and productivity.

Currently three accounting software providers are signed up to the scheme – Sage, Intuit and E-crunch. The next phase of the programme will see the scheme extended to e-commerce software.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said:

'I want UK businesses to be primed and ready to seize all the opportunities on the horizon as we build back better from the pandemic. Adopting technology means higher performance, and the Help to Grow: Digital scheme is future-proofing our small businesses and putting the UK at the forefront of the worldwide digital revolution.'

Help to Grow: Management scheme provides small businesses with access to world-class business expertise on everything from leadership and financial management to marketing and digital adoption. This is delivered through leading UK business schools, alongside one-on-one support from a business mentor – and is 90% funded by the government. By the end of the programme the individual will develop a business growth plan to help them lead and grow their business. To be eligible, there must be a UK-based SME, actively trading for at least one year and have a total of between 5 and 249 employees.

More can be found here.

3. Get up to half off your business rates

From April this year, small retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses can benefit from 50% off their business rates bills. This is worth £1.7 billion for up to 400,000 eligible properties. The business rates multiplier has also been frozen for another year, saving businesses £4.6 billion over the next 5 years. This is used to calculate how much business rates they should pay, and it usually rises with inflation each year. The business rates multipliers for 2022 to 2023 are 49.9 pence for the small business multiplier and 51.2 pence for the standard multiplier.

From April 2022 there will be no business rates due on a range of green technology, including solar panels and batteries, whilst eligible heat networks will also receive 100% relief. Together these will save businesses around £200 million over the next five years.

4. Invest in your business with Super-deduction and Annual Investment Allowance (Corporate entities only)

To spur business investment, the super-deduction allows companies to claim an enhanced rate of 130% for any qualifying machinery and equipment. For every £1 spent this equates to £1.30 relief from taxable profits prior to corporation tax being claimed. This can include the purchase of computers, most commercial vehicles and office furniture.

The temporary £1 million limit for the Annual Investment Allowance has also been extended to the end of March 2023. This had been due to revert to £200,000 at the start of 2022. The Annual Investment Allowance allows businesses to spend up to £1 million on qualifying business equipment, and deduct in-year its full cost before they calculate their taxable profits. Both of these tax breaks remain available for firms to take advantage of until the end of March 2023, by incurring qualifying expenditure before then.

5. Benefit from the cut in Fuel Duty

The government has cut fuel duty on petrol and diesel by 5 pence per litre for 12 months – effective from 23 March 2022.

This cut, plus the freeze in fuel duty in 2022 to 2023, represents a £5 billion saving worth around:

  • £200 for the average van driver
  • £1,500 for the average haulier 

Could you benefit from speaking to an adviser?

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