From tax cuts to innovation incentives, this is what they told us:
1. Support for innovation
Innovation is a driving force behind economic growth, helping us to compete on the international stage.
Adam Ludwin, chief visionary officer and co-founder of ad-tech company Captify, said: “If I was writing the budget I’d look to train banks on how to deal with innovation and entrepreneurs, especially in technology sector, where a number of entrepreneurs seek funding from venture capitalists because of an inability to secure the right level of support and financing from the banking sector.”
Giles Palmer, CEO of Brandwatch, said: “Innovation, and the ability to get back up if things don’t quite work is vital so we absolutely need to maintain the R&D tax credits relief but also increase the grants we offer to the technology and creative industries.”
2. Retaining or extending Entrepreneurs’ Relief
Entrepreneurs’ Relief gives business owners a reduced rate of capital gains tax – 10 per cent – up to a value of £10m when they come to sell the business.
Brandwatch CEO Giles Palmer said: “I would like to see the chancellor increasing the entrepreneur’s relief limit to encourage companies that are doing well to really push the boundaries and think big without having to worrying about the tax implications.”
Paul Lees, CEO and founder of Powwownow, would go further, suggesting it could also be applied to income tax.
He said: “This would mean rather than paying 45% tax, business owners would effectively pay 10% until a limit was reached. This would enable more people to start up SMEs which currently employ 14.4 million people in the UK and have a combined turnover of £1,600 billion.”
3. Support for businesses outside London
There’s much talk of an economic divide between London and the rest of the country – a divide which threatens not just sales but also staff retention, investment prospects and infrastructure.
John Styring, CEO and founder of Northampton-based publishers IglooBooks, said: “The threat of a national divide between London and the rest of the UK means a lack of investment in the businesses that make up the regions will damage our international competitiveness and drive business investment overseas.
“Supporting business in local communities can offer jobs and growth to the surrounding regions and bring innovation and new thinking to the wider economy. The Government must do more to offer financial support for smaller businesses outside of London to help them break into a competitive market.”
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