Stoke Staffs LEP
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SSLEP welcomes spring Budget

The Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP has welcomed the government’s budget announced today.

Commenting on the Budget announcement from the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak MP, Alun Rogers, Chair of the Stoke on Trent and Staffordshire LEP said:

“It is clear that this is a budget to get SMEs back on their feet.

“The ‘Help to Grow’ programme is particularly welcome. In March 2020, the ONS productivity report analysing productivity following the 2008 financial crisis highlighted businesses that invested in professional management training performed much better than those that didn’t. This new support package will enable businesses coming out of this economic turbulence to invest in the training and skills to help them grow over the long-term. Over the past year, we have been working closely with our Growth Hub to drive digital skills and digital transformation across the region as we know that businesses that adopt these practices are more profitable. This additional support will complement our offer locally.

“The new super-deduction is genuinely revolutionary and will help cut companies tax bill by 25p for every pound they invest in new equipment. Not only is this worth billions to the public purse, but it will help drive investment in SMEs and encourage growth and make us world leading in this area.

“When it comes to Levelling—up, we will be working hard with partners to put forward an ambitious bid to the £4.8 billion fund to ensure that Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire play a leading role in rebalancing the national economy.

“Overall, in challenging times, this Budget puts people and SMEs at the heart of the recovery and we welcome the measures that have been set out to support jobs, growth and economic prosperity.”

What does the budget mean for small businesses in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent?

Here’s a summary of the main points you need to know:

  • The Coronavirus Job Support Scheme (Furlough scheme) will be extended to the end of September 2021
  • The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme has been extended to the end of September 2021, with 600,000 more people who filled a tax return in 2019-20 now able to claim for the first time.
  • £5 billion is being made available across the UK for new Restart Grants – a one off cash grant of up to £18,000 for hospitality, accommodation, leisure, person care and gym businesses in England
  • A new UK-wide Recovery Loan Scheme making loans available between £25,001 to £10million, supporting businesses of all sizes through recovery.
  • Extension to the VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until the end of September, followed by a 12.5% rate for a further 6 months.
  • A new Help to Grow scheme will offer up to 130,000 companies across the UK a digital and management boost – which the SSLEP itself has been actively lobbying for. Express an interest now
  • 750,000 eligible businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England will benefit from business rates relief.
  • Extension of the apprenticeship hiring incentive in England to September 2021 and an increase of payment to £3,000.
  • A new “flexi-job” apprenticeship programme in England, that will enable apprentices to work with a number of employers in one sector- increasing employment but not increasing overheads
  • Additional £126 million for 40,000 more traineeships in England, funding high quality work placements and training for 16-24 year olds in 2021/22 academic year.
  • More than doubling the legal limit for single contactless payments, from £45 to £100
  • £300 million for major spectator sports, supporting clubs and governing bodies in England as fans begin to return to stadia.
  • To further support the cashflow of businesses, the government is extending the loss carry back rules worth up to £760,000 per company.
  • To balance the need to raise revenue with the objective of having an internationally competitive tax system, the rate of Corporation Tax will increase to 25%.Businesses with profits of £50,000 or less, around 70% of actively trading companies, will continue to be taxed at 19% and a taper above £50,000 will be introduced so that only businesses with profits greater than £250,000 will be taxed at the full 25% rate.
  •  Fuel duty will continue to be frozen.
  • Capping the amount of SME payable R&D tax credit that a business can receive in any one year at £20,000 (plus three times the company’s total PAYE and NICs liability).
  • Reforms to the immigration system will help ambitious UK businesses attract the brightest and best international talent.
  • Reduced rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will apply for residential properties purchased from 8 July 2020 until 30 June 2021 and from 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021 inclusive.
  • The £375 million UK-wide ‘Future Fund: Breakthrough’ will invest in highly innovative companies such as those working in life sciences, quantum computing, or clean tech, that are aiming to raise at least £20 million of funding.
  • Over £1 billion funding for a further 45 towns in England through the Towns Fund, supporting their long-term economic and social regeneration as well as their immediate recovery from the impacts of COVID-19 (the detail of which towns will be clear within a few days).
  • £150 million Community Ownership Fund will allow communities across the UK to invest to protect the assets that matter most to them such as pubs, theatres, shops, or local sports clubs

More on the government’s budget announcement