New measures offer boost to small business

Ollie Gordon
THE UK’s small businesses and entrepreneurs were heartened yesterday after a series of policy measures were announced aimed at providing them with better access to funding and investment support.

In the Autumn statement yesterday, the chancellor announced the government would provide further funding for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee to facilitate up to £500m of new lending to small businesses in 2015-16. The scheme has already supplied £2.9bn in lending since its creation in November 2008.

Osborne also confirmed that coalition’s Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) would be extended for a year until 29 January 2016. The FLS promotes lending to small businesses by providing funding to banks with the price and quantity linked to their lending performances.

In addition, the government is providing a further $400m to support venture capital through the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Capital Funds programme.

Finally, the government will now allow gains that are eligible for Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) and deferred into investment under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) or Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) to benefit from ER when the gain is realised, encouraging entrepreneurs to invest in developing enterprises.

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