The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has released the Budget for 2021, confirming extension to the business rates holiday and furlough scheme, as well as new £6k ‘restart’ grants for non-essential retailers

In a Budget which ‘meets the moment’, the Chancellor has today (3 March) set out a £65 billion three-point plan to provide support for jobs and businesses as we emerge from the pandemic and forge a path to recovery. Some of the measures announced include:

Business Rates holiday will continue through to the end of June, with the remaining part of the year to be discounted.

The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of September. Employers have been asked to contribute towards the payments from July.

New Restart Grants available to retail businesses from April to support them as they reopen. Hospitality, Leisure and other businesses such as gyms will be eligible for grants from June.

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Support for the self-employed will also continue to September with grants now also available to people who filed a tax return in 2019-20 and are now able to claim for the first time.  

Help To Grow scheme to be offered to businesses from the Autumn to encourage business to improve productivity, and proved a digital and management boost.An extension to the VAT cut to 5% for hospitality, accommodation and attractions across the UK until the end of September, followed by a 12.5% rate until the end of March 2022.

An increase to 25% in Corporation Tax will be introduced in 2023, the tax will be payable on profits and is not scheduled to come into effect until after the economic recovery.

There are also plans for investment in green projects, science and technology and the development of eight new English Freeports.

Michelle Ovens, CBE, Founder of Small Business Britain is pleased by many of the support packages set out in the budget. ‘We welcome the Help To Grow packages announced today as a strong step forwards in practical business support. We know small businesses will be the engine of recovery for the U.K. economy and embracing all opportunities like digital training, digital vouchers and expert management training will be key to unlocking that potential,’ says Michelle. ‘The new business grants for those hardest hit by restrictions are also extremely good news and a step in the right direction. Retail, hospitality, leisure and personal care have been devastated by the pandemic and need all the help they can get to get back on their feet.’

More details on the Budget can be found at

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