FSB Cornwall Budget comment

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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed the help for small businesses announced in today’s Budget, but is disappointed that the Chancellor is proceeding with the proposed hike in National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

The FSB was pleased with the announcement to take 345,000 small businesses in England out of the business rates system. Business rates are the third highest outlay for small businesses and, says the FSB, this proposal will come as a huge relief to small businesses on the high street.

Lorrie Eathorne-Gibbons, FSB Cornwall’s regional chairman commented: “The budget has given some welcome news for our small businesses but I am very disappointed that the national insurance hike is still to go ahead.

Proposals to increase small business rate relief threshold will be valued in Cornwall where a great many of our businesses employ less than 10 people. At least some will now be removed from the business rate system. I also welcome the modest tax breaks proposed.

The added investment in roads and the phased increase in petrol both of which are particularly important to Cornwall are good news. Sadly, other than business rates, there is little joy for pubs and clubs and in general Cornish tourism.

It is hoped the increased bank lending proposals come to fruition as this is vital for existing and start up businesses.”

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Richard Newman, Cornwall representative to the South West Area Policy Unit, added: “Good news for Cornwall’s struggling rural businesses. The success of the business rates proposal will depend on the detail but if it prevents further losses in the public house and post office sectors leading to the protection of community spirit, then this measure will be welcomed.”

He went on to say: “Cornwall’s transition to a knowledge-based economy is in its second phase. The Combined University of Cornwall was the centre piece of the Objective One programme and the innovation centres being delivered through Convergence funding completes the circle. The Entrepreneur’s relief will be welcomed and will be a driver in Cornwall achieving its aspirations”.