During the Spring Statement announcement on 13 March 2018, the Chancellor of the Exchequer said that the current government is “the champions of small business and the entrepreneur”.
This was the first Spring Statement since the Budget was moved to the autumn by Philip Hammond in 2016. The Spring Statement now provides an overview of any progress that has been made since the Autumn Budget 2017 as well as an update on the overall health of the UK economy.
In last year’s Autumn Budget Philip Hammond said that this Government would support the backbone of the nation, its 5.5 million small businesses. Many sole traders, micro and small businesses have waited in anticipation to see if the Government has committed to its promise.
Spring Statement 2018
“Light at the end of the tunnel” is what Phillip Hammond promised the UK public and businesses during the Spring Statement 2018.
If you missed the Spring Statement, here are the key highlights for small businesses.
Investment in Innovation
The Government plans to “embrace the new technologies of the future” and in doing this they will continue to back British enterprises. During the Spring Statement Phillip Hammond said that the Government would
“Champion those who create the jobs and the wealth on which our prosperity and our public services both depend. Not to demonise them.”
The Government is looking to support innovation in dealing with plastic waste with £20 million being made available to universities and business to stimulate new thinking and innovation in this important area.
In support of British businesses, the Government is reducing business rates by over £10 billion and is bringing forward the next business rates revaluation to 2021.
During the Spring Statement Philip Hammond stated that Government is committed to delivering 3 million apprenticeship starts by 2020.
He said that the Government understands the challenges that small businesses looking to employ apprentices face and that the Education Secretary will release up to £80 million of funding to support those small businesses that invest in apprentices.
Philip Hammond says that the Government will force larger companies to pay their bills on time. After the collapse of Carillion, the Government is under pressure from small businesses to “eliminate the continuing scourge of late payments.”
Philip Hammond will show “leadership” on this, after a survey by the group of 1,512 companies revealed that more than 4/5 businesses reported being paid late.
One thing that was clear was that the Government will invest in public services. Philip Hammond said that the Government will continue to focus on reducing the national debt because it:
“Wants to see taxpayers’ money funding our schools and hospitals, not wasted on debt interest”.
The Government wants to invest in Britain’s future and is giving £9 billion extra to the NHS and social care system.
This is great news for small businesses that want to invest in public procurement. An increase in spending for public services means more tender opportunities for sole traders and micro and small businesses.
How can Supply2Gov help?
If you would like to find out how you can start to win government tenders, visit our website. We offer free advice and local tender alerts to small businesses across the UK and ROI.