Steve Jones: The small business view of the Budget


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The Independent Online

What we really wanted to see in this Budget was ‘Real’ help for Small Businesses in the UK.  They are the lifeblood of our economy and there are over 4.8 million SME’s in the UK, and especially with unemployment figures continuing to rise there needs to be more help for business start ups.  Has Mr Osborne delivered?

We see the struggles of hundreds of businesses every day here at and are acutely aware that 1 in 8 SME’s failed in 2011.  A common call for help that we hear is the lack of support from the Bank. 

Although the announcement of the new National Loan Scheme aims to reduce the cost of borrowing to Small Businesses by around 1% is welcomed, the real issue facing many Businesses that has been ignored, is not the rates they are being charged, but more critically the willingness of the Banks to lend to them at all.  The larger established SME’s may well be able to take advantage of this scheme, however many of the smaller less established businesses will receive no benefit from it.  What is being done to help these?

Rising costs are also a key factor affecting all businesses, rising fuels costs are obviously a real issue to many and the decision to keep the planned 3p rise to fuel duty in August will lead to further hardship to many of our subscribers. With oil prices predicted by many to rise over coming months there is already enough pain on the horizon.

The announced Corporation tax cuts will help those businesses that are established and already profitable, however yet again, it does not help those that are struggling or Start Ups.

The Chancellor announced the intention to offer Enterprise loans to help young adults set up new businesses, this sounds positive, however further details are awaited on this.

The proposed simplification of PAYE & NI procedures for small businesses is a welcome announcement.

Has he delivered to Small Business? Only time will tell, however the initial verdict is ‘Could have done better’.

What businesses in the UK need is real, immediate red tape free help. This may not have been provided by this budget.

Steve Jones is a Director at, a Brighton based company offering professional advice to SME’s from Solicitors, Accountants, HR Specialists and Financial Advisers.