FSB has backed several measures outlined in March’s Budget, including the move to take many small firms out of the business rates system and to lower the rate of corporation tax to 17 per cent in April 2020.
“The Chancellor has listened to our calls for the tax system to be made simpler for small businesses and the self-employed, and taken important action on business rates,” said Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman.
“In particular, our members have campaigned hard to make Small Business Rates Relief permanent and expand it, and the Chancellor has heeded our calls, taking many small firms out of the system altogether.
“The combined measures on business rates will be viewed by members as a step on the road to fundamental reform. In addition, online retailers will benefit from steps to secure a level playing field for smaller online businesses on VAT.”
Other measures in the Budget included a freeze on fuel duty, and increased investment in roads, rail and flood defences. “Altogether, these measures should help to drive productivity and boost small business confidence levels, which have faltered recently in the face of domestic policy and global economic challenges,” added Mr Cherry.
FSB’s role in lobbying for better conditions for small firms on business rates was hailed in PR Week by James Dowling, former advisor at HM Treasury. “The announcement on business rates is a victory for the small business lobby and the Federation of Small Businesses in particular. This is a huge vindication of its communications operation. It can present this to its members as evidence of how belonging to FSB pays off.
“The appearance of success and connection with the political process is attractive, and itself invites people to get involved.”