5 key changes Hammond can make to unleash British business

5 key changes Hammond can make through Spring Budget 2017 to unleash British business, from Smith & Williamson Scale-up expert, John Morris.

The Chancellor has a unique opportunity at the upcoming Budget; he can bolster the confidence of British business as well as providing a roadmap that can be followed for years to come.

Scale-up businesses have the potential to create over 150,000 jobs and add up to £225bn towards UK GDP by 2034. There are some very simple and, relatively, inexpensive solutions that the Chancellor could introduce to assist entrepreneurs and their scale-up businesses.


1. Develop a national, scale-up business plan with actionable deliverables. The government should comprehensively define the role of scale-up champion and assist them as they produce a five year framework.

The appointment of a scale-up champion is a great step forward but it is vital that there is a comprehensive plan, it can’t just become a series of ad-hoc measures that target one area and then another. Businesses, and investors, crave certainty and a plan will provide them with that.

2. Provide better and more information to businesses looking to grow, in one centralised place. There are a great number of government backed loan schemes, advisory bodies or general tips that are vastly underused.

There has been a lot of exemplary work done by government, and industry bodies, in giving businesses the tools, information and funding to grow. However, it is incredibly hard to actually find all the information and ensure it is not out of date. Government needs to do a better job of communicating the benefits, that are widely available, to those who most need it.


3. Assist scale-up businesses with exporting through benefits or investment.

While the decision to leave the EU has brought uncertainty it has focused government attention on other export markets. One area they should look at is encouraging our scale-up businesses to export. They could do this via matched funding through the Business Growth Fund, guaranteeing losses up to a point or even offering further tax relief to those looking to export.


4. Promote investment in scale-ups from private companies not just private individuals or government. One example could be the re-launch of the corporate venturing scheme, though varied to make it more accessible, a tax relief scheme which operates in the same way as the enterprise investment scheme for private individuals

Encouraging investment in scale-ups from private companies could reap huge benefits to all involved. Scale-ups receive funding, and likely practical advice from companies keen to see their investment grow, scale-ups will produce jobs which will kick-start the economy and increase tax revenues.

5. Start keeping regular, and easily accessible, statistics on businesses that have expanded, or are looking to expand, past the start-up phase of their evolution but have not yet reached the larger company size.

It may not be exciting but it is absolutely vital to measuring the success of our scale-ups. With adequate reporting politicians, investors and scale-ups themselves can identify key areas in which funds, expansion or expertise could be used.


By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of writing.

The tax treatment depends on the individual circumstances of each client and may be subject to change in future.

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John Morris

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