Spring Budget 2017 – What it means for small businesses and the self-employed

We’ve all heard about the release of Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget for this year, and many of us will have tuned in to listen to the news summary about it, but how many of us understood what the contents of the budget actually mean for small business owners and the self-employed?

We’ve broken the budget down and highlighted the areas that will affect you and your business the most.

Business Rates
The high business rates were highly criticised and so the government has taken the following steps in an attempt to take some of the pressure off from the rates of smaller businesses.

  1. A fund of £300 million will be offered as a discretionary relief to small businesses that are the worst affected by the rates.
  2. Any business that is losing their small business rate relief will see their bill increase by no more than £50 a month.
  3. All pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will get a £1,000 discount on the rates they pay.

Savings

From April 2018 the total tax paid by an employed worker and by one that has set up their own company is set to change. The chancellor plans to do this by reducing the tax-free dividend allowance for directors/shareholders. It will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000. 

Tax
The chancellor has taken measures to benefit those in employment by scrapping the NIC Class 2 and raising the Class 4 national insurance contributions from 9% to 10% by April 2018. They are then due to rise to 11% in April 2019, which will raise £145 million a year by 2021-22. A self-employed person with profits over £16,250 will have to pay more as a result of these changes.

Economy

The UK economy is forecast to grow by 2% and at a faster and higher rate than was previously predicted. Although, this isn’t set to last, with Hammond outlining that growth will then fall to 1.8 in 2018 and 1.7 in 2019. Inflation is forecasted to be 2.4% and then 2% up to 2019.

We asked PFC Director, Alun Rogers, to shed some light on how this new budget will affect SME’s and freelancers –

“There’s no doubt that Philip Hammond has opted for some controversial changes in this 2017 budget, particularly in relation to national insurance contributions and business tax. There is also no doubt that it is already tough out there for SME’s and freelancers, and these rises in contributions certainly won’t help anything. That’s why we do everything we can to assist small businesses and the self-employed to source a range of suitable finance options when they struggle with unpaid invoices and cashflow issues amongst other financial issues relating to business.”

If you want to discuss what finance options we have available and how we may be able to help you and your business, then please do not hesitate to contact us here at PFC.

THE ROUTE TO FINANCE

For start-up businesses and SME’s, it can be tricky to convince lenders to grant you funding especially if your business hasn’t taken off the ground just yet or if you’re fairly new to the business and are already looking to expand. Often, if the principal bank does agree to finance the business, they will look to bolt-on far reaching security comprising debentures and will sometimes only agree to the finance if they can dilute their own funding with any of the available grants that exist for small to medium sized companies. This is very time consuming and laborious and certainly doesn’t help the client if they need fast access to decisions and finance.

We’re here to provide you with access to finance where others may say no. Together we can decipher what your best financing option would be, so that we can then put it forward to our panel of more than 45 lenders to find the best solution for the individual or business.

With our many available routes to finance you may never need to go to your bank again to ask for specific funding. PFC very rarely fails in successfully sourcing finance for our clients.

We listen to every business and we look at the size of your company, the owners and how much you have estimated that you want/need to borrow, so that we can work out ideal repayment terms and identify types of credit available.

In 2017 we have arranged an eclectic mix of funding already, for small sole traders up to multi-million turnover incorporated businesses.

Five and six figure VAT and tax loans (incredibly useful for ring-fencing essential cash within the business), single invoice finance (a few of our clients have provided current outstanding invoices which we have been able to get funding against to inject working capital into the company but without the need for entering into long term invoice financing), personal loans (many small business owners find this an ideal and competitively priced method of introducing capital into the business), asset finance (commercial vehicles, scaffolding and IT are some of the equipment we have arranged asset finance for so far this year), invoice finance and inventory funding (large major restructuring for a plant hire company, we were able to instruct a top-tier panel funder to roll out a new invoice finance package supported by a funding line for their stock) and many working capital loans.

In most instances, with a couple of items of supporting information (management accounts, last full filed accounts, and perhaps a few months business bank statements) we can propose to our chosen lender and obtain the approval within a few hours – this means from proposal to funds being paid out can be completed in as little 48 hours, and occasionally in the same day, depending on the type of finance applied for.

If this all sounds too daunting, don’t worry. You can always call us to walk you through the process and assist wherever possible along the way. If you’re thinking of borrowing to improve your business be it a small refit or a full-scale expansion, don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01829 738 799 or send us an email: enquiries@pfcfinance.co.uk.

New Year, New Credit – Getting a fresh financial start

After months of gift-buying and festivities, the Christmas cheer is slowing down. Unfortunately, for most of us, that means putting down the mulled wine and returning to the 9 – 5 lifestyle.

As everyone knows, with New Year comes New Year resolutions. For some, it may be sticking to a strict, no junk food diet, or increasingly your weekly exercise regimes, but for the business owners amongst us, our resolutions may be more finance focused.

Whilst the economic burden of Christmas may be over, upcoming finances cannot be ignored. With the January HMRC online tax return deadline looming, as well as any outstanding company payments, it’s time to sit down and work out the maths.

Whether 2016 proved to be prosperous or unsuccessful will vary from business to business, but regardless, 2017 offers the opportunity for a fresh start. Through organising your finances prior to the New Year, every business will know where they stand in terms of profit and funding objectives. With this in mind, by this time next year, you can look back knowing that all your hard work has paid off.

At PFC, we understand that finance is not so clear cut and that organising your finances may be more stressful than creating a simple spreadsheet. However, we also understand the ways in which easy, flexible finance access can transform a business, which is why we’re here to help your enterprise start afresh. With a number of different financial schemes, we can ensure that 2017 will start as it means to go on.

From asset finance and commercial loans to invoice and inventory finance we provide a range of finance options to suit everyone, and with a team of dedicated lenders, we promise that each individual will receive a scheme tailored to their specific needs. Having worked with every sector, no financial problem is too overwhelming for us, and the success of our services has been evidenced time and time again.

If you need a fresh financial start, then get in touch today. We can provide fast, flexible and competitive rates from an unrivalled lending panel, comprising many of the top tier funders and niche specialised SME lenders, that all starts with a simple email. We’re here to help. Start 2017 with a new financial outlook, so that your business can grow to its full potential over the course of the next year.

PLANNING FOR THE UNEXPECTED

As we look back on 2016 it’s fair to say that it has been a year of plenty of unexpected outcomes.  Who would have thought this time last year that David Cameron would have resigned, Britain would be heading out of Europe and that Donald Trump will be the President of the United States in just a few weeks time?

The reality however is that throughout our lives we are often faced with the unexpected and it is those who are able to best adapt to the new situations that survive and even prosper.  This is also very much the case in business.

There are countless businesses out there that face change on a daily basis whether it’s due to external factors such as SMEs who face changes in government funding, through to businesses that lose an important customer in unforeseeable circumstances or even those affected by an unexpected 10% change in dollar exchange rates since June.

It’s at these moments that often cashflow or business plans take a hit.  Unfortunately, the days of a call to a friendly bank manager are over as the processes becomes more faceless and banks tighten their lending criteria.

The good news however is that access to finance is more available than ever through organisations such as PFC who can access finance for client businesses from a panel of more than 30 specialist business lenders.

Unlike banks, decisions can also be taken quickly offering clients agreement on finance typically in less than 24 hours and with cash deposited in the bank often within 48.  Being regulated by the FCA, we are able to work with a range of commercial organisations of all different sizes and business sectors to offer unparalleled access to finance whether unsecured business loans, asset based lending, invoice finance, bullet loans, commercial mortgages or personal loans.

Having a range of loans available and a team dedicated to finding the right access to finance to meet a client’s needs means that whatever the year ahead may have in store, there is quick, flexible and easy access to finance available.  As you relax this Christmas and look ahead to the New Year you can at least relax in the knowledge that whatever the future has planned for you, your finances can be taken care of.