- · Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, responsible for nearly half of economic output and 60 per cent of private sector employment, employing 16 million people in the UK.
- · As we leave the EU, with their hard work and innovation, small businesses will help to propel the UK into a bright future. That is why we are continuing supporting people to start and grow their businesses, as well as increase their productivity.
The Conservative government is supporting small businesses to start and grow by:
- · Backing British businesses with a £2.3 billion tax cut. We helped millions of small businesses by bringing forward the planned Business Rates switch from RPI to CPI to April 2018, worth £2.3 billion to businesses over the next five years (HMT, Budget 2017, 22 November 2017).
- · Investing £675 million in a Future High Streets Fund and a new High Streets Taskforce. This will support councils to implement plans for the transformation of their high streets. We will also relax town planning rules to support new mixed-use businesses on the high street and the conversion of under-used retail units into offices and homes (HMT, Budget 2018, 20 October 2018).
- · Cutting business rates for small retailers by a third for two years for 90 per cent of all shops, pubs and restaurants up to £8,000. Our reforms and reductions to business rates since 2016 will be worth more than £12 billion over the next five years (HMT, Budget 2018, 20 October 2018, link).
- · Keeping 3 million small businesses out of VAT altogether. We are maintaining one of the highest VAT thresholds in the world (HMT, Budget 2018, 20 October 2018).
- · Backing an additional 10,000 entrepreneurs through Start Up Loans to start their own businesses. We are extending the Start Up Loans programme to 2021, backing up to an additional 10,000 entrepreneurs (HMT, Budget 2018, 20 October 2018).
- · Tackling delays in payments to small business to ensure they always get paid on time. We are consulting on unfair payment practices and how they impact on businesses, along with publishing what further steps the Government could take to tackle late payments (DBEIS, Press Release, 4 October 2018).
- · Backing businesses for the long term through our modern Industrial Strategy, which is driving technological advances and creating more well-paying jobs around the country. We are investing £7 billion in new public funding for science, research and innovation – the largest increase for 40 years (Prime Minister’s Office, Press Release, 21 May 2018).
The Federation of Small Businesses welcomed our recent Budget. National Chairman Mike Cherry said the Budget put the Chancellor ‘firmly on the side of Britain’s small businesses’ (FSB, 29 October 2018).
Theresa May's proposed deal with the EU would help small businesses as it provides certainty, protects jobs and minimises red tape:
- · The deal agrees a free trade area for goods that will allow products to flow easily across our borders and protect the many skilled jobs right across the country that rely on integrated supply-chains.
- · The implementation period will give small businesses certainty as we leave the EU and sufficient time to prepare for our new relationship.
- · The deal would secure the ability to strike new trade deals with other countries, opening up new markets and new opportunities for small businesses to export and grow internationally.
- · The deal would ensure provisions for visa-free travel for short-term visits, so that businesspeople can travel between the UK and EU.
- · New and specific arrangements on digital, including e-commerce, will see the UK and EU working together to reduce barriers, promote a secure online environment and avoid discrimination against digital services.