From the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit to global supply shortages, rising inflation and soaring costs across the board, businesses have faced numerous challenges over the last two years.
While many business support initiatives have now been wound down by the UK and Welsh Governments as we learn to live with Covid, SMEs can still access government support to help them invest and grow.
Here we round up the financial support currently available for SMEs from the UK government:
As announced in the Spring Statement in March, fuel duty has been cut by 5p per litre until March 2023. Not only beneficial for employees who commute by car, the cut also provides savings for businesses who transport goods with van drivers saving approximately £200 and hauliers saving around £1500.
Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses can benefit from 50% off their business rates bills.
No business rates are due on a range of green technology, including solar panels and batteries, whilst eligible heat networks also receive 100% relief.
Businesses can calculate how much they should pay using the business rates multiplier which has been frozen for 2022/23. Small businesses can do this by multiplying their rateable value by 49.9p.
In April, National Insurance contributions increased by 1.25% to help fund health and social care.
However, some businesses whose Class 1 National Insurance liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous tax year can benefit from the Employment Allowance tax relief which has increased from £4000 to £5000. This measure is expected to help nearly half a million SMEs in the UK.
Help to Grow
There are two Help to Grow schemes which help SMEs: Help to Grow Digital and Help to Grow Management.
Help to Grow Digital aims to help businesses choose, buy and adopt digital technologies to aid growth. As well as free advice and guidance, eligible businesses can receive a 50% discount on new software worth up to £5000.
Meanwhile, Help to Grow Management provides SMEs with access to expertise on leadership, financial management, marketing and digital adoption. The programme is delivered through the UK’s leading business schools and each business will receive one-to-one support from a mentor.
More tax breaks are available for firms looking to invest in qualifying equipment and machinery before the end of March 2023.
The super-deduction allows businesses to cut their tax bill by 25p for every £1 they invest in equipment such as computers, office furniture and commercial vehicles, while the limit for the annual investment allowance has been extended, allowing firms to spend up to £1 million on equipment and deduct in-year its full cost before calculating taxable profits.