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SME Business News Round up

In these monthly blogs I examine what the papers have been saying about events that affect the SME market. This valuable service means that you, the business owner does not have to waste time reading the Telegraph, Grauniad or FT…  Yee hah!

Business rates

In the budget the Chancellor did describe 3 measures to assist small businesses struggling with rate increases:

  1. A guarantee that no business losing Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) would see their monthly bill go up by more than £50
  2. A £1,000 discount for pubs
  3. A £300m fund for Councils to use at their discretion to assist those businesses hardest hit

SME lending on the up

According to a recent report, lending to SME has increased again for the 8th quarter in a row. Good news as the lack of finance has severely held back growth in the SME market for too long in my view. Despite this rosy headline, many businesses struggle to source the finance they need – if your business is one of these, please get in contact.

Family businesses are growing…

In a report from PWC 9 in 10 family businesses anticipate growth in the coming year, while more than a third are concerned about the potential impact of Brexit. Having said that I might have received the wrong envelope for this so it could be completely wrong…

Self-employment ruling

A ruling has been reached in the Pimlico Plumbers case. “So what” I hear you say, well, it is important because it concerned the rights of workers who are self-employed. In the case, the Court of Appeal agreed with a tribunal that plumber Gary Smith was entitled to holiday and sick pay even though he was technically self-employed. This guy apparently worked for 6 years for this plumbing firm – the moral of the story appears to be that for these guys to be truly self –employed they need to have the freedom to work elsewhere and an ability to compete.

If this affects you or your business, please get in touch for a chat.

Beware IR35…

Okay, the Government have been forced to back track over the planned hike in National Insurance for the self employed, but beware a renewed push under the IR35 rules. These will target contractors who effectively work for one organisation through a Personal Service Company. Legislation is due out so I will keep you posted. In the meantime, HMRC have released a new employment tool to see if you are self employed or employed – check it out here:

More firms backing Brexit

Controversial I know but on a final note, a recent report has found that the number of UK firms backing Brexit has almost doubled in the past year. Previously just 17% of companies backed Brexit a year ago, but this has now risen to 32%. Additionally, the number of firms keen to stay in the EU has fallen from 60% to 56% and almost 60% of the 700 business owners quizzed are confident about the year ahead.

We will see what happens when Article 50 is triggered but as of the current time the Private Fraser warnings of ‘doom’ have yet to materialise.

Sightings of the 4 Horseman saddling up and plagues of locusts over Kent are as yet, unconfirmed…


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