How the Budget affects SMEs

Monday’s Budget, though not quite as dramatic as some expected, contained several measures that are relevant to small businesses. We have summarised these below.

The government will halve the amount small businesses have to contribute to the cost of apprenticeship training from 10% to 5%.

Businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 will see their business rates bill (the equivalent of council tax for companies) cut by one third for the next two years, until the next revaluation in 2021.

Philip Hammond pledged up to £1bn of government money to guarantee loans to SME housebuilders via the British Business Bank. SME housebuilders often have trouble getting the financing they need.

From 2020, the amount that a loss-making SME can receive in research and development (R&D) tax credits will be capped at three times its total pay-as-you-earn (PAYE) and national insurance contributions liability.

Finally, Hammond ignored calls to get rid of entrepreneurs’ tax relief – under which business owners pay a lower capital-gains tax rate – but will extend the minimum qualifying period from
12 months to two years.