“It is excellent that the Chancellor has used this statement to give a further lift to start-up businesses and SMEs, particularly with regards to business rates. SMEs are powering the revival in the UK economy and the measures announced today will give these businesses the fuel to continue to support the UK’s economic upturn.
E2Exchange welcomes the extension of business rate relief for SMEs which will provide the necessary continued relief to pre-revenue start-ups and SMEs. We are pleased with the Government’s intention to consult on business rate reforms and E2Exchange calls for a fairer system where the rates paid are as much dependent on a company’s performance as by the value of the property from which it operates.
Increase in business funding / extension to funding for lending scheme:
The combined £900m injection of lending and investment capital for SMEs is a significant boost to this hugely important sector of UK business and E2Exchange welcomes this latest move. E2Exchange last year called for additional lending available to SMEs to be doubled to £500m to further encourage business investment and we are pleased that the government has responded to this.
However, as entrepreneurship in the UK has never been so buoyant and increasing numbers of start-ups and SMEs are being established, we would now like to see this raised to £1bn and also to ensure that companies are given the necessary advice to help them navigate through the lending schemes available to them. E2Exchange welcomes the extension to the funding for lending scheme which will provide much needed help to SMEs growing their businesses over the next 12 months. Many SMEs, however, take a longer term approach and E2Exchange is calling for the scheme to be extended for three years to allow entrepreneurs and small business owners to invest, not just for the year ahead, but beyond.
The £45m package aimed at first time exporters will be a huge boost to SMEs and will help UK achieve its aim of increasing exports to £1 trillion by 2020.Business exporting is critical to the success of both SMEs and the wider economy, yet currently only one in five small companies export their products and services so all initiatives to support this are welcomed.
While the package will help growing companies to export to the fast growing economies of Asia, Africa and South America, it will also need to help SMEs improve their knowledge around the rules, regulations and administrative requirements involved in exporting to unfamiliar markets. A full understanding of these is as important as financial support to ensure that SMEs play a full role in the UK’s economic export recovery.
Combined with other recent initiatives from the government, such as the Small Business, Enterprise and Employment bill, this autumn statement has provided a welcome boost for business and SMEs are now starting to receive the financial and legislative support that mirrors their significant contribution to the UK economy. E2Exchange hopes that the government will continue to build on this with the introduction of more permanent initiatives designed to help SMEs grow and invest in their businesses for the longer term.”