Small food firms benefit from 2018 Budget

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

The new budget offered benefits to small and medium sized food firms
The new budget offered benefits to small and medium sized food firms
Small and medium-sized food and drink firms are set to benefit from several features of Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond’s autumn budget, including support for investment, exports and construction.

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.

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