National Enterprise Network outlines impact of 2016 Budget on small business

In today’s Budget 2016 statement, Chancellor George Osborne defined his proposals as “a Budget for small businesses.” As the membership body for enterprise support organisations that supports pre start and start up clients, National Enterprise Network (NEN) unpicks some of the key headlines. In one of the biggest announcements today, reforms to business rates were […]

In today’s Budget 2016 statement, Chancellor George Osborne defined his proposals as “a Budget for small businesses.” As the membership body for enterprise support organisations that supports pre start and start up clients, National Enterprise Network (NEN) unpicks some of the key headlines.

In one of the biggest announcements today, reforms to business rates were confirmed; meaning 600,000 small businesses will now have no rates to pay and a further 250,000 will have their rates cuts from April 2017. Overheads are a significant outgoing for any small business and we are pleased that so many of the small businesses our network helps with will benefit from this.

Whilst the outlook for global economy was classed as “materially weaker” and with the UK “not immune” to slowdown elsewhere – National Enterprise Network knows that small businesses are contributing hugely and predicts that this will continue. However, the chancellor did demonstrate his confidence in job creation, with a million jobs forecast to be created by 2020. NEN can’t help but wonder how many of these jobs will be created by those classed as small businesses; as we expect it will be a significant contribution.

Corporation tax will be cut, from its current 20% to 17% by 2020 – more good news for small business owners that will have a clear impact. The statement also made reference to eliminating class 2 NI contributions for the self-employed which we believe is a good move. The Chancellor is also freezing fuel duty. He says the move means a £75 a year saving for the average driver as “the tax boost that keep Britain on the move.” Fuel costs are something which hit many small businesses and so this will be welcomed. Each and every way a small business can keep its costs down is hugely important to its sustainability and potential growth.

Budget 2016 also infers that Job Centre Plus staff will provide support to self-employed universal credit claimants. In our recent response to the Michelle Mone review, we were particularly keen to stress that any such measures must be to complement specialist self-employment support and not to replace it. We would hope that is not what this measure proposes and will picking up on this point particularly moving forward.

The Chancellor’s view is that “Britain is blazing a trail, let the rest of the world catch up”. We can’t help but reiterate how much start-ups and small businesses are a part of this, with National Enterprise Network members helping in excess of 144,000 clients in the last year alone.

Speaking about today’s budget statement, NEN Chief Executive Dawn Whiteley says: “We always look at budget statements in lots of detail, to understand how each and every decision affects the small business sector – a sector we happen to think is the lifeblood of our economy. We are pleased to see that George Osborne has presented plans today that positively influence the small business sector. But there is still more to be done and we continue our work to champion this vibrant sector to make sure government are doing all they can to support it. As is often the case, much of the devil is always in the detail and we’ll be looking at that over the next few weeks and months as more details emerge; to ensure the benefits we see here are rolled out as is suggested in today’s statement.”

Dawn continued; “Whilst we are pleased to see proposals outlined that will positively impact on small businesses, we also need to be mindful to ensure people feel confident enough to set up these businesses in the first place – which is where the value of the enterprise support sector comes in.”

National Enterprise Network demonstrated the overall impact its network makes in an online campaign at the beginning of this year. Key campaign materials can be accessed through the hashtag #NENandProud on Twitter.

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For further National Enterprise Network comment, please contact Hayley Williams at Keystone Marketing in the first instance.