//Budget looks to help small businesses

Budget looks to help small businesses

Business rates, sick pay for self isolating employees and loans in Sunak’s first Budget

The Chancellor has announced that certain leisure, retail and hospitality companies will not pay any business rates this year.

The move, in Rishi Sunak’s first Budget, will affect businesses with a rateable value of less than £51,000.

The Budget also included contingency for small and medium sized businesses with staff forced to self isolate because of Coronavirus. For businesses with fewer than 250 employees the government will fund statutory sick pay for two weeks.

Small companies will also be able to access loans of up to £1.2 million.

Mark Tanzer, ABTA chief executive, commented: “ABTA called for the Government to support the travel and tourism industry this week in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, and the new Chancellor has acted quickly and decisively with certain measures that will support smaller businesses in particular. Travel businesses are under increasing pressure and steps such as the business interruption loan scheme, the emergency cut to interest rates and support for small businesses with sickness payments for staff will provide some welcome relief and a degree of protection for at least some Members in the weeks to come. However, the measures of the Chancellor and the Bank of England which are designed to increase access to short term credit need to be turned into reality, and the Government must work with lenders to ensure the measures are effective on the ground. We shall continue to monitor the situation as it evolves and liaise with the Government on behalf of our Members regarding any additional support measures.

“Elsewhere in the Budget, while we welcome the Government’s commitment to review Air Passenger Duty in relation to domestic connectivity, we strongly urge the Government to do this as part of a wider reform process, acting as the catalyst for constructive discussions between industry and government about a more comprehensive overhaul of the structure of APD. Furthermore we are disappointed by the inflationary increase in APD announced today, which puts the UK at an even greater competitive disadvantage compared with other countries where similar departure taxes are much lower.”