Chancellor Osborne welcomes small businesses to Downing Street

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will today welcome 100 small business owners from across the country to the first ever Downing Street Christmas Fair as he unveils business rates support for 30,000 small businesses based on the high street.

On the eve of the UK’s second Small Business Saturday, the Chancellor announced an additional £500 business rate discount for retail and food and drink business. This takes the total discount from the current £1,000 to £1,500 in 2015/16 and reduces the cost of business rates on the high street.

Local authorities already apply the £1,000 discount to an estimated 30,000 eligible retail and food and drink premises such as drycleaners, hairdressers, cafes and shops. The additional discount will be available for businesses in properties with a rateable value below £50,000.

The Chancellor George Osborne said:
“Small business Saturday UK is a brilliant initiative. I urge everyone to visit their local shops tomorrow and support their local small businesses.”

A total of £1bn of measures to help businesses with the cost of business rates were announced in the Autumn Statement – helping 1.8m firms.

These include:

• Doubling of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) for a further year to 31 March 2016 to provide support for 575,000 of the smallest businesses, and ensuring 385,000 small businesses pay no rates.
• Capping the rise in the business rates multiplier to benefit all businesses.
• Extending Transitional Rate Relief to support 16,000 small business facing significant bill increases due to the ending of Transitional Rate Relief.

Businesses with the ambition and capacity to grow are also set to receive a boost with the launch of the Business Growth Service by the Chancellor today. This service brings together Government support schemes in one place.

Business and Enterprise Minister Matt Hancock said:

“Small businesses have driven our economic recovery. These are the hardworking heroes of our economy who stay up late into the night honing their ideas and creating jobs for others.

“Small business told us the support available was too disjointed so we have joined it together through our new Business Growth Service, which will provide a tailored package of support to thousands of firms each year. We are backing Britain’s small businesses and I am committed to making Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business.”

Michelle Ovens, National Campaign Director, Small Business Saturday UK, said:

“We are excited to be bringing nearly 100 small business owners to Downing Street today to highlight the diversity and innovation of small businesses in the UK and why it is so important for us all to go out on Saturday and support at least one small business in our local community.

“This is not an abstract economic concept, this is personal. If you don’t own a small business, you will either work for one or know somebody who does. This is about supporting our friends, our families and our neighbours and strengthening our local communities and economies.”

The event also marked the unveiling of the first official No.11 Downing Street Christmas Tree. The Christmas tree was selected by the Chancellor when he visited Marldon Christmas Tree Farm in Devon. Marldon Christmas Tree Farm is a home grown businesses owned by Sadie Lynes.

The 100 business owners attending the Downing Street Christmas Fair include Start Up Loans recipient, Svandish Catering. They will be joined by 15 small businesses selected by Small Business Saturday Campaign to display their products and services.


On business rates retail discount:
• Local authorities will apply the discount to business rates bills and they will be fully reimbursed for this relief through state aid grants.
• This relief will be available for one year.
• The discount will be available for businesses in properties with a rateable value below £50,000.
• Properties classed as A1, A3, A4, A5 uses for planning purposes will be eligible – such as charity shops, drycleaners, hairdressers, pubs, restaurants, cafes, and hot food takeaways.
• Properties classed as A2, B, C, D will not be eligible – includes betting shops, banks, payday lenders, estate agents, hotels, cinemas, etc.

Start-up loans recipient information:
Svadish Catering received a total of £5,000 from the Start Up Loans Company. With this money business owner Sonya started her Indian restaurant and catering company Svadish Catering at the age of 19. As a diabetic she wanted to serve healthy, homemade Indian food, and use herbs and spices that are believed to help the condition. Sonya’s long-term goal is to have Svadish restaurants and catering services across the UK.

Marldon Christmas Tree Farm:
The Marldon Christmas Tree Farm is part of Jadecliff, owned and run by Sadie Lynes. The company provides Christmas trees for the wholesale market but also supplies directly to the public on many of its sites. The company also plans to help Britain become a market leader in Christmas tree growing, working with Bicton Agriculture College to form new courses about the industry.

Business Growth Service:
Businesses have told us they find it hard to find the right type of support. We have listened, and the Government is making it simpler and easier for every business to get the help that they need.

For all businesses there is a single place to go for help:, so businesses can find support easily.

And for firms with ambition and capacity to grow, the Government’s Business Growth Service brings together a broad range of expertise to help businesses to:

• Access finance
• Develop new ideas and market them
• Protect intellectual property
• Build leadership and management skills
• Export for the first time or break into new markets
• Improve manufacturing processes and build supply chains
• Connect with a network of ambitious business leaders

At local level, growth hubs will be the single point of access for the Business Growth Service.