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Budget 2011: small businesses will benefit, but has it gone far enough?

23 March 2011 by
Budget 2011: small businesses will benefit, but has it gone far enough?

George Osborne's Budget announcement today offers some good news for small businesses but there are concerns that it doesn't go far enough to kick-start consumer confidence.

And plans to increase personal tax allowance by a further £630 to £8,015 in April next year, while helpful to lower-paid hospitality employees, is not considered an effective long-term strategy for promoting economic growth, according to property company Coffer Corporate Leisure.

Mark Sheehan, the company's managing director , questioned whether those who would benefit from a raised nil-tax threshold could be relied upon to sustain the economy.

"The Budget offers little help to alleviate pressure on operators' suffering and does little to kick-start consumer spending," he said. "Operators need more help than they are being offered in this budget to help lead the economy out of recession.

However Sheehan welcomed the increase in Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief. He said: "It] will help to attract investors in small businesses. With bank debt all but gone for many, raising cash by selling equity is the answer and this tax relief will help."

The announcement that corporation tax will be cut by 2% in April, rather than 1% as previously planned, was also well received.

John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), said the extra 1% cut will help firms increase investment, while changes to entrepreneurs' taxation will focus much-needed support on businesses with growth potential.

"Reductions in regulations on businesses and the promise of a faster planning system will provide relief to companies trying to take on staff and invest," he said.

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By Janie Stamford

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