Budget Statement 2004: Summary of Small Business Announcements

Encouraging More Enterprise in Disadvantaged Communities and Under-represented Groups

The government recognises that there are wide differences in self-employment and company formation rates for certain groups that go beyond the differences in employment rates. The following further steps were announced in the Budget:

Business Premises Renovation Allowance

  • Subject to state aid approval, Budget 2004 announced that the government plans to introduce a Business Premises Renovation Allowance in 2005, and to publish draft legislation for consultation shortly. The proposed scheme could help tackle specific market failures related to the re-use of business premises in Enterprise Areas. It would provide 100% first-year capital allowances for the capital costs of renovating business premises in Enterprise Areas that had remained vacant for a year or more.
  • The government has been working with the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and the Local government Association, and has held a series of Open Space events in partnership with RBS/Natwest and local communities. These are being used to inform policy developments and are shedding light on how local stakeholders and RDAs can tailor measures in Enterprise Areas to meet specific development challenges.

Tackling workless-ness

  • Research by ODPM’s Social Exclusion Unit has highlighted the strong correlation between concentrations of worklessness, low levels of enterprise and deprivation: 75% of the streets with the highest rates of worklessness in England are also within Enterprise Areas. The government is considering whether the scope of measures available in Enterprise Areas should be expanded to tackle barriers to employability as well as enterprise.

Childcare vouchers

  • As announced in Pre-Budget Report 2003, the government is introducing new measures to improve the tax and national insurance incentives for employer supported childcare, for implementation in April 2005. These introduce a new tax exemption on up to £50 a week of provision of good quality formal childcare contracted by the employer or paid for with childcare vouchers provided by the employer.

Payroll giving

  • The government is launching a Payroll Giving Grant for SMEs who agree to offer their staff the opportunity to give through the payroll. Proposals for the scheme will be announced shortly.

Budget Statement 2004: Summary Small Business Statements – Crown Copyright © 2004-2012

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