7 ways SMEs can get financial support for their business…

Did you know that if you are a small or medium business, you can get government support you may not even know about!

Have you recently set up a business & are wondering what supports are out there to help you along?

Wonder no more, as I have listed FIVE different ways SMEs can get financial support for their business below…

Claim up to £5,000 with the Employment Allowance

This is a tax relief which allows eligible businesses to reduce their National Insurance contributions (NICs) bills each year.

You can claim this if:
  • You are registered as an employer.

  • Sole trader, limited company or partnership that has employees.

  • A limited company that employs only directors, where two or more directors earn more than the secondary threshold for Class 1 National Insurance contributions. There is additional guidance from HMRC for single-director companies.

  • You are a business and your employer Class 1 National Insurance liabilities were less than £100,000 in the previous year.

  • However, it doesn’t apply to contributions made where IR35 applies, so don’t include off-payroll workers in your calculations, as they don’t count towards the £100,000 threshold.

Remember: You can claim Employment Allowance for the previous 4 tax years dating back to the 2018 to 2019 tax year.

When you cannot claim:

Excluding charities, you cannot claim if you’re a public body or business doing more than half your work in the public sector (such as local councils and NHS services)

You also cannot claim if you’re a company with only one employee paid above the Class 1 National Insurance secondary threshold and the employee is also a director of the company.

Certain employees cannot be included in your claim including someone whose earnings are within IR35 ‘off-payroll working rules’ or someone you employ for personal, household or domestic work (like a nanny or gardener) - unless they’re a care or support worker.

Get a discount of up to £5,000 on software with Help to Grow

This is a UK-wide government backed scheme that aims to help businesses choose, buy and adopt digital technologies that will help them grow their business.

What you get:
  • Training

  • 1-1 support from a business mentor

  • Peer-learning sessions

  • Access to an alumni network

  • Help to develop a business growth plan

Training topics:
  • Leadership

  • Marketing

  • Employee engagement

  • Financial management

How to apply:

Apply via the HMRC website. There is a £750 joining fee.

Help to grow digital

How much can you get?

A 50% discount on approved technology solutions up to a maximum of £5,000.

What can you get?

The Help to Grow: Digital website provides all businesses with free and impartial information and support to help them adopt new digital technologies.

This includes:
  • Guidance and tools to help understand which digital technology is best suited to your business

  • A software comparison tool

  • Checklists to help you see whether you’re ready and how to integrate new software

  • Case studies about similar businesses

You may be able to get the discount on the costs of buying approved software. To be eligible your business must:

  • Have between  5 and 249 employees

  • Be a UK company registered with Companies House or on the Financial Conduct Authority’s Mutuals Register

  • Be actively trading for over a year before applying for the discount

  • Be purchasing the software for the first time

Business relief rates

From April this year, many small businesses can benefit from 50% off their business rates bills. These businesses include small retail, hospitality & leisure businesses and is worth £1.7 billion for up to 400,000 eligible properties.

You could qualify for retail, hospitality and leisure relief if your business is mainly being used as a:

  • Shop

  • Restaurant, café, bar or pub

  • Cinema or music venue

  • Hospitality or leisure business - for example, a gym, a spa or a hotel

What you will get...

You may be able to get retail, hospitality and leisure relief on top of other types of business rates relief you’re eligible for. If you opt out of retail, hospitality and leisure relief for the 2022 to 2023 tax year you cannot change your mind.

Retail discount for the tax year 2021 to 2022

The retail discount ended on 1 April 2022. If you were eligible for the retail discount, you cannot get business rates relief under the COVID-19 additional relief fund.

Contact your local council to find out if you’re eligible.


A new 130% first-year capital allowance for qualifying plant and machinery assets; and a 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate assets.

From 1 April 2021 until 31 March 2023, companies investing in qualifying new plant and machinery assets will be able to claim:

  • A 130% super-deduction capital allowance on qualifying plant and machinery investments

  • A 50% first-year allowance for qualifying special rate assets

The super-deduction will allow companies to cut their tax bill by up to 25p for every £1 they invest, ensuring the UK capital allowances regime is amongst the world’s most competitive.

The government has offered unprecedented support for businesses during Covid. Even so, pandemic-related economic shocks and the accompanying uncertainty have chilled business investment.

This super-deduction will encourage firms to invest in productivity-enhancing plant and machinery assets that will help them grow, and to make those investments now.

Annual Investment Allowance

You can deduct the full value of an item that qualifies for annual investment allowance (AIA) from your profits before tax.

If you sell the item after claiming AIA you may need to pay tax.

What you can claim on:

You can claim AIA on most plant and machinery up to the AIA amount.

What you cannot claim on:
  • Business cars

  • Items you owned for another reason before you started using them in your business

  • Items given to you or your business

  • Claim writing down allowances instead

When you can claim:

You can only claim AIA in the period you bought the item.

The date you bought it is:

  • When you signed the contract, if payment is due within less than 4 months

  • When payment’s due, if it’s due more than 4 months later

If you do not want to claim the full cost...

If you do not want to claim the full cost, for example you have low profits, you can claim:

  • Writing down allowances instead

  • Part of the cost as AIA and part as writing down allowances

The AIA amount:

The AIA amount has temporarily increased to £1 million between 1 January 2019 and 31 March 2023.

Benefit from the cut in Fuel Duty

The government has cut fuel duty on petrol & diesel by 5 pence per litre for 12 months - this came into effect from 23rd March 2022.

This cut, plus the freeze in fuel duty in 2022 to 2023, represents a £5 billion saving worth around:

•£200 for the average van driver

•£1,500 for the average haulier

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