Over 13,000 businesses in South Yorkshire have benefited from a cut in National Insurance of up to £2,000, new figures show.
The Government says 5,500 Sheffield companies, 13,300 in South Yorkshire and 66,000 in Yorkshire and the Humber have claimed Employment Allowance in the six months since it was launched.
Announced in last year’s Bugdet, it is said to be simple to claim through the payroll process.
The new data coincides with a recent survey by the Federation of Small Businesses which found that 18 per cent of small businesses used the cut to increase wages, 17 per cent to hire additional staff, 12 per cent for training, and eight per cent for more staff hours for current staff.
Some 18 per cent of small businesses surveyed invested in equipment, machinery, or premises, it is claimed.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “The true test of my long-term economic plan is whether it will make life better for you - readers of the Sheffield Star.
“One thing is fundamental to giving you a decent quality of life: the security of work.
“That is why getting behind Britain’s businesses is at the heart of that plan – they are the ones who ensure you take home a wage.”
Nationally, some 850,000 have claimed it.
John Allan, national chairman of the FSB, said: “We’re really pleased. We called on Government to help small employers invest in staff, and now we see how this additional support has been spent.
“Our members have used the allowance by paying workers more, hiring new people and increasing training.
“It’s good to see a quarter of those that hired new staff took on an apprentice.
“We want all eligible firms to claim it.”