Budget boost for Sheffield's independents
Pubs, shops and restaurants will get a third off business rates for the next two years, the Chancellor announced, in a Budget measure set to boost Sheffield's independents.
Businesses with a rateable value of Â£51,000 or less will benefit from the cut, worth up to Â£8,000 for 90 per cent of businesses, he said. It will bridge the gap until 2021 when rateable values will change, he added. Â
Simon Buchan, head of VAT Services at Sheffield accountantsÂ BHP, said: 'The announcement provides a welcome boost to the high street. However, unless local authorities are compensated by central government for this loss of revenue the announcement represents a further cut to their funding. It will be interesting to see what the Chancellor has up his sleeve to make up for this.'
Mr Hammond also announced a Â£675m Future High Streets Fund to support councils to transform high streets, and announced an increase in the Transforming Cities Fund, which aims to improve public and sustainable transport, from Â£1.7bn to Â£2.4bn.
The handful of devolved areas with a metro mayor have already received Â£840 million, but Sheffield City Region is in competition with the rest of England for a share because its devolution deal has stalled.
A rival bid for '˜One Yorkshire' devolution did not get a mention, indicating the county would continue to miss out.
Mr Hammond also said he would increase the annual investment allowance from Â£200,000 to Â£1m for two years, supporting investment by smaller companies, and extend UK Export Finance's direct lending scheme by Â£2 billion in the next two years.
Meanwhile, the Sheffield-based British Business Bank would be able make Â£200m of additional investment if there is '˜no future relationship' with the European Investment Bank Group after Brexit, he said.
He also announced Â£37m for Northern Powerhouse Rail.
James Sutton, of SME accountants, Haines Watts, said: 'Extending start-up loan funding to 2021Â and extending the minimum qualifying period for entrepreneur's relief from 12 months to two years will provide a welcome boost.Â
'From October 2018, businesses can deduct twoÂ per centÂ of the cost of any new non-residential structures from profits before they pay tax. Some Â£1bn of business bank guarantees to revive SME house builders, coupled with Â£675m of co-fundingÂ could also help local high streets.'