What did the budget mean for retailers?

The 2014 Budget wasn’t the most eventful we’ve seen, but it does hold some good news for smaller retailers.

25th March 2014

2014 budget for retailersThis year’s Budget was largely aimed at savers and pensioners, but it did offer some support to businesses all the same. George Osborne’s hour-long speech was opened with a 20-minute summary of the state of the economy. In short, the economy would grow faster than anticipated, but the deficit would not be eliminated until well into the next parliament. That means that further spending cuts are on the way.

However, there was some good news for retailers. The investment allowance has been doubled to £500,000 until the end of next year – 99.8% of businesses will be able to make investments without having to pay tax, the chancellor revealed. The move will cost the government approximately £2 billion to implement.

Osborne also extended business rates discounts for premises in enterprise zones. Additional funding for apprenticeships may boost the prospects of some smaller businesses, some retail experts hope. The continued freeze of fuel duty and the slender cut in tax on beer and spirits is also likely to help retailers in certain sectors.

However, as expected, there was no news on changing business rates. They had been due to be re-evaluated in 2015, but the government pushed this back to 2017. Retailers of all sizes have been calling for business rates to be reformed as soon as possible, but their pleas appear to be falling on deaf ears. Small retailers everywhere are investing in new technologies such as retail software to try to deal with tricky market conditions. If you think your business could benefit from retail software, speak to us now.

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