Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Enterprise in his Report entitled The Report on Small Firms 2010 – 2015 says that this is “The Golden Age for Small Firms” and “there never has been a better time to start a small business”. Why? Well the Report cites reasons and here are but a few:
- There is a record number of small firms in the UK: some 5.2 million, an increase of 760,000 since 2010.
- A record number of people in work – 30.8 million – and small firms accounting for 48% of private sector employment.
- Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute rank the UK the most entrepreneurial country in Europe and 4th in the world
- Start Up Loans Company have lent £131 million to 25,000 businesses and created 33,000 jobs.
- The Employment allowance gives businesses and charities a £2,000 tax cut off their National Insurance Contributions. Benefiting up to 1.25 million businesses, this will result in around 450,000 small businesses being taken out of paying National Insurance Contributions altogether.
- A £1.1 billion package of business rates measures, with extra relief for small businesses through the extended doubling of the Small Business Rate Relief.
- The apprenticeship Grant for Employers provides £1,500 to firms taking on their first apprentice. In the first year, 80% of grants went to firms employing 25 people or fewer, helping small firms train up their future workforce.
- By the end of 2014, 500,000 businesses had signed up for a ‘Your Tax account’ to manage their tax affairs more easily and cheaply and, from the 2013/14 tax year, small self-employed businesses have been able to submit tax returns to HMRC on a cash basis, reducing bureaucracy.
- Technology is having a transformative effect on small businesses to trade, raise finance, export, market and network. This includes a record rise in the numbers of home-based businesses.
- The internet represents a £19 billion business opportunity for small firms in the UK. Government’s £100 million Broadband Connection Vouchers are enabling small firms to get connected.
- Government has 80 sites that are available for start-ups and charities to use flexibly, reducing their need to take on long rents.
- The number of businesses with a social mission is increasing – social enterprises now account for 6% of firms and the UK’s social investment market is worth over£200 million.
Towards the conclusion of his Report Lord Young encourages small firms to take advice.
Despite the obvious benefits of small firms seeking help, these businesses are not always inclined to actively engage business support. Data tells us that only 30% of small businesses take external advice and this is because most of these firms say that they don’t understand the benefit of the help on offer. This makes them less likely to seek or pay for help. Small firms also report that the market for accessing help is fragmented, which affects the trustworthiness of advice and the ability of businesses to navigate what’s on offer.
One of key factors which differentiates Huddart’s in addition to the fact that we are a member firm of the ICAEW is the significant amount of operational experience we have in owning, managing and running a business. We have rich experience of the highs and lows, the good and the bad, the rough with the smooth and the constant change which owning and managing a business involves.
We not only provide accountancy services we also offer business advice and mentoring. If you are looking for advice and support in 2016 please get in touch and we can chat together about how we might be able to help and support you and your business in 2016.