20/10/2021

Business Update – 20 October 2021

Welcome back to our Weekly Digest. Read on for the latest updates and some ideas to help us all move forward.

Plans to Incentivise Installation of Low-Carbon Heating

Through the Heat and Buildings Strategy, the government has set out its plan to incentivise people to install low-carbon heating systems and replace their old boilers over the coming decade. This will significantly reduce the UK’s dependency on fossil fuels and exposure to global price spikes, whilst supporting up to 240,000 jobs across the UK by 2035.

From April 2022, new grants of £5,000 will be available for homeowners through a 3-year Boiler Upgrade Scheme.

PM Hints at Future Tax Cut for Businesses

Prime Minister Boris Johnson hinted at future tax cuts for U.K. business even as the finance minister prepares to make historic rises over the next two years.

Labour has also renewed its calls to slash business rates, as figures from the Office for National Statistics show 332,000 businesses are at-risk of closure in the next three months.

Businesses are currently experiencing challenges due to increased inflation and energy costs.

Pressures to Reinstate Restrictions as Cases Surpass 49,000 in One Day

COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted over the summer, allowing residents to return to normal. However, infection rates have remained high and recently began to surge again, with 49,156 new cases reported on Monday.

The government is now under pressure to reinstate restrictions and expedite the rollout of booster shots to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

Cheaper Lateral Flow Tests for COVID-19 Testing

Fully vaccinated travellers will soon be able to pay less for COVID-19 tests after they arrive in England, as cheaper lateral flow tests can be used instead of PCR tests from 24 October.

PCR tests cost more than £50 per passenger, which is more than twice the price of many lateral flow tests. The change is also applicable to those under 18 years old who live in the UK or one of about 100 countries, whether vaccinated or not.

Other changes in travel rules can be found here.

£500 Million Plan for Jobs Expansion

Workers leaving the furlough scheme and unemployed individuals over 50 years old will be supported back into work as part of more than £500m expansion of the government’s Plan for Jobs. People earning the lowest wages will also benefit and existing schemes targeting young people will be extended into next year as part of the new package.

Starting in April 2022, the Government is enhancing its programme of support for workers on Universal Credit.

SME Brexit Support Fund

A £20 million SME Brexit Support Fund has been announced to help businesses adjust to new customs, rules of origin, and VAT rules when trading with the EU.

Traders will be able to apply for a grant of up to £2,000 to pay for practical support for importing and exporting. This fund will help businesses prepare for the implementation of import controls that will take effect from April and July.

More details can be found here.

Kickstart Scheme Grant

  • Provides funding to create new job placements for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit
  • Covers 100% of the National Minimum Wage (or the National Living Wage) for 25 hours a week for a total of six months
  • Also covers National Insurance contributions
  • Employers can spread the start date of the job placements until the end of December 2021

More information can be found here.

Modernise your Financial Department

It is not uncommon for startups and small businesses to operate with limited resources. But smart technology tools can enable small teams to operate at a larger level, giving them a competitive edge despite their size.

This Forbes article discusses how you can take a modern approach to finance and adopt a strategy that encourages business growth.

  • Employ more strategic cash flow management. Improving simple practices such as sending invoices as soon as possible, using online invoicing tools, evaluating where you can reduce expenses, and adjusting inventory.
  • Schedule regular financial forecasts to gauge profitability. Financial forecasting is critical for both short- and long-term scenario planning, and an effective tool to estimate profitability.
  • Invest in the right technology. Automation can make manual processes much more efficient, increasing the importance of an organisation’s finance tech stack.

Modernising financial management is not as difficult as it seems. However, it takes dedication to ensure your team is on the right track. If you need some guidance with your business finances, get in touch with us today.

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