Connect


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Connect. Support. Grow.


Become a Chamber member today and access a range of benefits to connect, support and grow your business

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Connect


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Support


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 
Training Services


Connections are crucial to the success of any business. Visit our latest news to keep up to date with the latest business news from across the region.

Connect. Support. Grow.
 

The Chancellor’s Budget 2020 - What does it mean?

 


The Chancellor’s Budget 2020 – What does it mean:

 

£30bn
Support package for Coronavirus
6.2%
Increase in National Living Wage
£2.5bn
new National Skills Fund
£600bn
in infrastructure spend over 5 years


Office for Budgetary Responsibility Predictions:

 

500,000
extra people in work by 2025
1.8%
increase in inflation for 2021
1.1%
Expected GDP Growth in 2020
2.1%
Increase in borrowing 2020/21

 


Need to Know: Changes Due from 2020

The National Living & National Minimum Wage rates from April 2019:
  • National Living Wage: £8.72 per hour
  • National Minimum Wage for 20-21 year olds: £8.20 per hour
  • National Minimum Wage for 18-20 year olds: £6.45 per hour
  • National Minimum Wage for 16-17 year olds: £4.55 per hour
  • National Minimum Wage for Apprentices: £4.15 per hour

The threshold for paying National Insurance will be raised to £9,500

The Employment Allowance will be increased from £3,000 to £4,000


Need to know: Emergency measures for the Coronavirus

  • Employees will be entitled to sick pay from the first day they are ill.
  • Businesses with more than 250 employees who are facing severe staff shortages due to sickness will be fully refunded in full up to 14 days
  • There will be a £3,000 cash grant for all smaller companies to deal with the impact
  • Extension of the HMRC Time to pay initiative which will allow tax payments to be deferred to help businesses struggling to pay tax bills on time due to the disruption
  • A Coronavirus business interruption scheme to offer loans of up to £1.2m and will cover up to 80% of losses arising from the coronavirus with no fees for small and medium businesses
  • The introduction of a Term Funding Scheme to provide businesses with a source of funding to bolster cash flow.
  • The retail discount for business rates will be increased to 100% and expanded to include hospitality and leisure businesses for 2021
  • There has been a cut in interest rates from the current level of 0.75% to 0.25%

    What does the Spring Budget 2020 Mean for Your Business?

    The Spring Budget 2020 included a raft of announcements for businesses, many positive including Coronavirus support, business rates relief and investment in transport infrastructure. Find out what the Spring Budget 2020 means for your business.

     


    What is the Chambers’ Position?

    Coronavirus

    Many businesses will welcome the news that the Chancellor and the Bank of England will introduce a number of contingency measures to shore up the economy in light of the Coronavirus crisis in order to mitigate any potential short term disruption.

    It was particularly pleasing to see the announcement from the Bank of England that additional finance will be made available for the purpose of lending to SME’s. However, it is important that the government and the Bank of England work with financial lenders to ensure that the money being made available filters down to small businesses during this difficult period as they are particularly susceptible to loss of trade and sickness in the workforce.

    This support must also be made available immediately as businesses are already facing disruption.

    Business Rates

    The Government has also reiterated the pledge made in the Queen’s Speech to carry out a fundamental review of the business rates system and implement a discount for small retailers to reduce the burden that SMEs are currently facing. While it is good to see the Government easing the business rate burden for SMEs based on the high street, this approach does little to help the larger institutions which receive no government support, yet are responsible for paying the bulk of the overall rates bill.

    The government’s intention to reduce the revaluation period from 5 years to 3 years in 2021 does not go far enough with the transitional relief system a major source of discontent, which disproportionately affect retailers and prevents firms from investing in the business and their staff.

    The system is fundamentally unfair and requires large scale reforms including restructuring the appeal system to reduce bureaucracy, remodelling the relief system to increase accessibility and removing plant and machinery from the rating system.

    Employment & Skills

    An adequately funded further education system, and investment in adult skills are both crucial for ensuring that residents across the UK – particularly in areas such as Birmingham, with relatively high levels of low- and no- skilled residents - can develop the skills necessary to access meaningful employment opportunities and to drive business growth.


    However, while funding for further education estates and the announced funding for T level provision will be very much welcomed by the sector, consideration must also be given to challenges such as the impact of unfunded increases in college pensions and resourcing for English as well as maths provision for those without requisite GCSE grades.

    Transport and Infrastructure

    Following on from the recent announcement that the government will proceed with HS2 in its entirety, it was especially pleasing to see the government commit funding to the Midlands Rail Hub which will boost connectivity from East-West across the Midlands Rail network. This increased investment will lead to greater connectivity between the major cities in the Midlands and provide a much-needed boost to productivity levels.

    Commonwealth Games

    The funding announced today for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games was also welcomed by the Chamber as it will allow the region to capitalise on this opportunity and turn 11 days of sport into a lasting trade, investment and economic legacy.

    Armed Forces

    It was also pleasing to see the Chancellor’s announcement that employers will no longer pay National Insurance Contributions for ex-forces personnel for the first year of work. As signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce welcomes the support shown for our armed forces and veterans in helping them find employment.

    The GBCC Policy & Strategic Relationships Team can be contacted about their work, sponsoring reports, commissioning research and participation in GBCC campaigns on 0121 725 9002 or emailing policy@birmingham-chamber.com