In this week’s 2016 Budget statement, Chancellor George Osborne defined his proposals as "a Budget for small businesses."
The National Enterprise Network (NEN), the membership body for enterprise support organisations that supports pre-start and start up clients, welcomed reforms to business rates. It means 6,000 small businesses will now have no rates to pay and a further 250,000 will have their rates cuts from April 2017.
Corporation tax will be cut, from its current 20% to 17% by 2020. The Chancellor is also freezing fuel duty. NEN chief executive Dawn Whiteley said that fuel costs are something that hit many small businesses and so this will be welcomed.
Mike Cherry, policy director at the Federation of Small Businesses, said the combined measures announced on business rates would be seen as a welcome and important step on the road to fundamental reform.
"In a Budget constrained by both the need to reduce the deficit and the economic outlook, the Chancellor has listened to our calls for the tax system to be made simpler for small businesses and the self-employed and taken important action on business rates," he said. "The new devolution deals, alongside increased investment in roads, rail, and flood defences, should give a much needed boost to the UK’s infrastructure."
Steve Ciuffini, general manager at Incorporatewear, which has more than 300,000 people wearing its corporate clothing globally, said: "As a supplier to the UK rail industry, we welcome the announcement of new rail lines, including Crossrail 2 and HS3. The prospect of a million new jobs by 2020 is encouraging, and we hope that many of those jobs will be in sectors where we have major customers such as financial services, airlines and retail.
"The Chancellor’s support for businesses, such as a cut in the headline rate of corporation tax is encouraging, as is the new anti-tax avoidance and evasion measures, something we feel strongly about as an ethical business."