It is safe to say that expectations were low ahead of the publication of the Autumn Statement, with many anticipating a further squeeze on business, but George Osborne surprised many by announcing a number of measures that will benefit firms.
Firstly, the temporary doubling of the Small Business Rate relief is set to be extended by another year to April 2014, but perhaps the best news was that the long-awaited business bank will finally go ahead.
The coalition is providing the bank with £1 billion of extra capital which will lever in private lending to help small and medium-sized firms and bring together existing schemes.
Though the bank has its sceptics, I for one am confident it will do more good than harm, providing start-ups and innovative yet struggling organisations with the assistance they need to prosper.
Further information about how the bank will operate is set to be provided later in December, but this week’s announcement, along with the news that £1.5 billion in export finance facility is also being launched to support the purchase of British exports, can only be good news for the country’s SMEs.
Perhaps the winter of discontent many were fearing will not become a reality after all.
Posted by the Secret Businessman