Boost for businesses as tariffs suspended on over a hundred products

Business / Sun 17th Mar 2024 at 07:55am

ALL importers of the affected products could benefit from the suspension of tariffs on the likes of flowers, leather, fruit juices, and car parts, among others – as the Business Secretary sets out plans to back British manufacturing to help grow the economy.

The changes, made possible by our post-Brexit trading freedoms, are expected to help make smaller firms more competitive and support economic growth.

It comes as small businesses, industry leaders and Cabinet Ministers including the Prime Minister gather in Warwickshire for the first SME Connect tomorrow [Monday 18 March].

Around 150 SMEs and business groups like the Federation of Small Businesses are due to attend sessions from how smarter regulation can support businesses, to how businesses can harness the potential of AI, and will meet with the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministers including the Technology Secretary and Education Secretary.

They are expected to discuss the ongoing work that government is doing to support small firms – including the recent changes announced at the Spring Budget to increase the VAT registration threshold to £90,000 from 1 April 2024 which will take around 28,000 small businesses out of paying VAT altogether.

In a speech to delegates the Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch will announce that the state-owned British Business Bank will launch a Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund which will be worth £660 million – a new fund to boost SMEs in the North of England through access to loans and equity.

Phil Smith CBE will also be announced as the Chair of the SME Digital Adoption Taskforce. He carries with him a wealth of knowledge and experience across the industry and is a well-respected figure across digital markets. He will spearhead efforts to SMEs adopt digital technology such as AI to rocket boost their productivity. The members of this taskforce will be set out shortly.

This builds on the Government’s Help to Grow initiative which offers free business advice to SMEs to help them start, grow, and succeed. This includes management courses, help to access funding, and webinars that explain the basics of setting up a company.

Taken together – this is a significant step in the Government’s plan to deliver the long-term change the UK needs to deliver a brighter future and improve economic security and opportunity for everyone.

Minister for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business Kevin Hollinrake said:

“We’re harnessing the freedoms of Brexit to drive down import costs for SMEs importing goods like flowers, car parts and leathers and help to deliver better value for money for consumers.

“Around 99.9% of all firms in the UK are SMEs which is why we’re focused on ensuring they have the support needed to grow and thrive.”

The government already has a strong record of backing British businesses – including by cutting taxes, removing barriers to growth and providing new opportunities with key trade deals, and improving access to finance, skills and support.

The recent formation of the SME Council, the freezing of alcohol duties in the Budget to help pubs and providing £1 billion of loans via the British Business Bank – have all reaffirmed the government’s support to small businesses.

SME Connect will offer SME business leaders from around the UK direct access to Ministers and Government officials and will display the support from across Government to them all in one place.

They will receive support and advice on key areas crucial to growth and productivity such as access to finance, skills and education, as well as innovation and technology.

The Prime Minister is also expected to announce a major package of reforms to support small businesses and deliver more apprenticeships in his first economic speech since the Spring Budget tomorrow.

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1 Comment for Boost for businesses as tariffs suspended on over a hundred products:

2024-03-17 12:10:59

Perhaps I am wrong but surely raising the vat threshold doesnt stop a business paying vat. If you are not vat registered then you dont add vat to your sales but you do not get to recover your input vat either so you can actually pay more vat. Guess it depends on whether your customers are other vat regd businesses or consumers

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