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Autumn 2021 Budget: Highlights for SMEs

Yesterday afternoon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the Autumn Budget. The budget was marked by increased spending commitments which the Chancellor claimed were possible due to quicker economic recovery from COVID-19 than had been predicted. Among these commitments were £2 billion for schools and £6 billion for the NHS.

There were also plenty of announcements that directly affect SMEs:

· For those in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, the Chancellor has announced a 50% cut in business rates up to a total of £110,000 for the period 2022-2023.

· The planned increase in fuel duty has been cancelled due to the already increasing fuel costs.

· The National Living Wage will increase to £9.50 an hour with the National Minimum Wage also increasing. The rate for apprentices has also increased from £4.30 to £4.81 per hour.

· Inflation is forecasted to rise by 4% over the next year.

· Annual Investment Allowance of £1 million is extended to 31 March 2023

· Six-month extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme.

· Provision of funding to allow the British Business Bank to continue to support SMEs, including £660m for the Northern Powerhouse investment fund.

· As announced earlier in the year, National Insurance contributions by employees, employers, and the self-employed are set to increase by 1.25%.

Each business will have different needs and will be affected by these announcements differently. If you need help understanding these changes, or taking advantage of the benefits offered, contact the SME Centre of Excellence.


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