SMES will be receiving a hefty financial boost from the Treasury, as announced in 2014’s Autumn Statement by George Osborne today.
The Chancellor delivered the news that a total of £900m is going to be dedicated to SMEs, in a support package that offers more accessible bank lending for small businesses and the extending of SME-focussed venture capital funds.
£400m has been pledged to extend government-backed Enterprise Capital Funds, which work to establish funds that target the market weakness in the availability of equity finance. A further £500m has been guaranteed for new bank lending to SMEs; the second of two schemes promised in the Autumn Statement, both of which are backed by the British Business Bank.
Further good news for small businesses was revealed as it has been announced that the Funding for Lending scheme has been extended for another year. This scheme has significantly contributed to the reduction in bank funding costs since it was first set up in 2012, and 2015 will see efforts being turned to the attention of SMEs, who can expect support in the form of certainty over cheap funding for lending.
Other news announced in the Autumn Statement 2014 included the overhaul of Stamp Duty rates and the raising of the Higher Rate income tax threshold to £42,385.
However, it looks like SMEs are the focus of the Treasury’s efforts more now than ever before, which is certainly good news for those SMEs who are planning on expanding in 2015. Stay tuned for any more developments.