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What does the Autumn Statement mean for SMEs?

The Autumn Budget statement was announced today, with George Osbourne setting out his plans for helping the UK economy achieve growth and stability. Aside from investment in science and innovation, what measures were announced that could directly impact your small business? We take a closer look so you know everything you need to when it comes to government finance initiatives for small businesses.

1) £1 billion has been confirmed for the funding of the business bank, which will help to address the long term structural gap in lending to small businesses. This scheme is anticipated to offer small businesses bank loans at more affordable rates, enabling them to get access to better loan options than from the big banks themselves.

2) The Regional Growth Fund will receive an additional £350 million, bringing the total available in 2012-13 to £2.75 billion. This is a considerable resource and many businesses are not fully aware of the benefits it could bring – this extra investment shows the government is keen to get more awareness going, and that it’s confident it can really help the country’s SMEs.

3) There will be extra money for the Employer Ownership Pilot, taking it to £340 million overall and giving businesses funding so that they can take responsibility for designing and developing their own training programmes. This will help to make sure staff are being trained properly, providing the SME sector with the right employees for the right jobs.

4) Increased funding of £140 million for UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) to help small and medium businesses export products and services abroad. Markets in Europe and beyond will be key to ensuring good growth for the UK small business sector in the coming years.

5) There will also be a combination of measures to help reduce the amount of red tape that small businesses experience. Hopefully this will allow both greater growth and innovation from within the sector.


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