UK Budget 2021: Highlights for small businesses


The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his 2021 budget to the House of Commons on 3 March.

If you are unsure what the latest UK Budget means for SMEs, we explore the number of measures that have been put in place to directly support small businesses.


Help to grow scheme

Mr Sunak announced that small businesses in the UK will be given support from the government to boost their software and training under a Help to Grow scheme.

During the announcement he said:

“First, Help to Grow: Management will help tens of thousands of small and medium sized businesses get world-class management training.

Dozens of business schools across the United Kingdom will offer a new executive development programme with mentoring and peer learning, and government will contribute 90% of the cost…

Second, Help to Grow: Digital.

With the pandemic, many businesses have moved online. This has been a challenge. But we want to turn it into an opportunity.

We’re going to help small businesses develop digital skills by giving them free expert training and a 50% discount on new productivity-enhancing software, worth up to £5,000 each.”

It has been confirmed that both programmes will commence by the autumn. Any interested businesses can register now on Gov.UK/HelpToGrow.


The business rates holiday has been extended

The Chancellor announced that the business rates holiday will continue until the end of June 2021. After that, business rates will be discounted.

Wales and Scotland have already announced business holidays. In Scotland, the business rates holiday will cover retail, hospitality, leisure, and aviation businesses in 2021-22. In Wales this will cover hospitality and leisure businesses.

The VAT cut to five per cent for hospitality and tourism businesses will also remain until September. After that, it’ll increase to 12.5 per cent, before returning to 20 per cent in April 2022.


Furlough extension

The Chancellor also announced the extension of the employees furlough scheme.

Since the beginning of the pandemic more than11 million people have had their wages covered by furlough scheme. Making the announcement, Mr Sunak said:

“Our COVID support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK.

“There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead – and beyond.”


Small business? Win big

On average the UK public sector spends around £284 billion on goods and services in the process we know as procurement. In recent years has encouraged small businesses to seek opportunities, as aims to spend £1 in every £3 with SMEs, directly or through the supply chain, by 2022.

At Supply2Gov we help new and existing suppliers find contracts that are right for their business, to help them grow in this lucrative market.

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