To boost business investment, the Government announced the Annual Investment Allowance would increase from £200,000 to £1m for two years, as well as a new Structures and Building Allowance that would provide “billions of pounds of relief” for firms investing in new businesses.
The Budget contained an extension to the Start-Up Loans Company, providing further support for businesses that struggle to access other forms of finance.
Grow sales overseas
Up to £2bn of additional funding will be pumped into the UK Export Finance’s direct lending facility, in a bid to firms grow their sales overseas. The Department of International Trade’s overseas network in Europe will receive a boost to help it support UK businesses navigate a new trading relationship with the UK.
Food and drink supply chains are set to benefit from freezes to fuel duty and heavy goods vehicle excise duty – a potential saving of £2,500 per van driver.
Changes in the Apprenticeship Levy will see the amount of money small businesses have to pay towards apprenticeship training cut in half from 10% to 5%, with the Government paying the remaining 95%.
Business rates cut
Business rates will be cut by a third over two years for firms with a rateable value or £51,000 or less.
Also included in this year’s budget were plans to launch a consultation into a plastics tax, which would see companies using plastic packaging that does not contain 30% recyclable material charged.
Hammond also revealed that an extra £500m had been set aside for preparation for leaving the EU in March next year, with a contingency plan to upgrade the spring statement next year to be upgraded to a full budget, if we end up with a no-deal Brexit.