Cost of Doing Business Hub

Here at London Business Hub, we know that rising costs are a significant challenge for businesses across the capital. That’s why we’ve brought together practical resources and support to help you adapt and navigate the rising cost of doing business.

London Business Hub guides

London Business Hub has published a series of practical guides on the steps you can take to protect your business, avoid cash flow problems, and manage business finances:

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Hot topic | Autumn Statement 2022

The Chancellor has announced a package of measures affecting business as part of his Autumn Statement. Key points include:

Taxation

  • The tax-free dividend allowance will be reduced to £1,000 in 2023/24, and then to £500 in 2024/25.
  • The tax-free allowance for capital gains will be reduced in 2023/24 from £12,300 to £6,000, and then to £3,000 in 2024/25.
  • Personal tax thresholds will be fixed for a further two years until April 2028, and the threshold at which earners start paying the top rate of income tax will be brought down from £150,000 to £125,140.
  • Electric vehicles will no longer be exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty from April 2025.

Business

  • A £13.6 billion package of business rates support.
  • Support for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses is being extended and increased from 50% to 75% business rates relief up to £110,000 per business in 2023/24.
  • Bill increases for the smallest businesses losing eligibility or seeing reductions in Small Business Rates Relief or Rural Rate Relief will be capped at £600 per year from 1 April 2023.
  • An Energy Efficiency Taskforce will be established and backed by £6 billion in new funding.
  • A HM Treasury-led review of the Energy Bill Relief Scheme will determine support for non-domestic energy consumers beyond 31 March 2023.
  • £20 billion in Research & Development investment in 2024/25.
  • The National Living Wage is being raised to £10.42 per hour from 1 April 2023.

Public spending

  • Public services spending will increase in real terms over the next five years but at a slower rate, with public spending to prioritise key services such as health and education.
  • Round 2 of the Levelling Up Fund will invest at least £1.7bn in local projects across the UK.

Find out more

Hot topic | Energy bills support for business

The Chancellor has announced a reversal of almost all of the tax measures set out in the Growth Plan that have not been legislated for in Parliament. The following tax policies will no longer be taken forward:

  • Cutting the basic rate of income tax to 19% from April 2023.
  • Cutting dividends tax by 1.25 percentage points from April 2023. The 1.25 percentage points increase, which took effect in April 2022, will now remain in place.
  • Repealing the 2017 and 2021 reforms to the off-payroll working rules (also known as IR35) from April 2023. The reforms will now remain in place.
  • Introducing a new VAT-free shopping scheme for non-UK visitors to Great Britain.
  • Freezing alcohol duty rates from 1 February 2023 for a year. Not proceeding with the freeze is worth approximately £600 million a year.

Read the announcement in full. 

Through a new Government Energy Bill Relief Scheme, the Government will provide a discount on wholesale gas and electricity prices for all non-domestic customers (including all UK businesses, the voluntary sector like charities and the public sector such as schools and hospitals).

It will apply to fixed contracts agreed on or after 1 December 2021, as well as to deemed, variable and flexible tariffs and contracts. It will apply to energy usage from 1 October 2022 to 31 March 2023, running for an initial six-month period for all non-domestic energy users. The savings will be first seen in October bills, which are typically received in November.

As with the Energy Price Guarantee for households, customers do not need to take action or apply to the scheme to access the support. Support (in the form of a p/kWh discount) will automatically be applied to bills.

The level of price reduction for each business will vary depending on their contract type and circumstances.

The Government  will publish a review into the operation of the scheme in three months to inform decisions on future support after March 2023. The review will focus in particular on identifying the most vulnerable non-domestic customers and how the Government will continue assisting them with energy costs. A factsheet about the support is available.

Read the press release to find out more

Selce

The South East London Community Energy co-operative (Selce) is a community energy group tackling climate change and fuel poverty across south east London. It offers impartial advice services to help businesses navigate the transition to clean energy.

The Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust energy benchmark tool helps small and medium-sized businesses assess typical energy use in their sector. It covers the hospitality, office-based, manufacturing, retail and leisure sectors.

The Carbon Trust also has a range of other online tools to help businesses reduce their energy consumption and costs:

Ofgem

Ofgem provides advice on how to get help if your business can’t afford its energy bills, as well as general energy advice.

Smart meters

The British Chambers of Commerce has published an article with advice about how installing a smart meter can help businesses manage their energy use.  

Resources and support for business

Business costs

CBI has brought together a range of resources to help you tackle rising business costs. They cover four key areas:

  • Workforce costs.
  • Decarbonisation and energy costs.
  • Operational resilience.
  • Economic intelligence.

NatWest has published a series of articles with advice and support to help navigate rising costs, covering:

  • Sustainability.
  • Business costs and cash flow.
  • Help with financial difficulties.

Recovery Loan Scheme

The Recovery Loan Scheme, which originally launched in April 2021 to help businesses recovering from the pandemic, has been extended to 2024.

The Recovery Loan Scheme is currently open to small and medium-sized businesses to support them to access loans and other kinds of finance so they can recover after the pandemic and transition period.

Up to £2 million is available per business group. The actual amount offered and the terms are at the discretion of participating lenders. The government guarantees 70% of the finance to the lender. As the borrower, you are always 100% liable for the debt.

Loans are available through a network of accredited lenders, listed on the British Business Bank’s website.

Good Business Pays has launched a new initiative to encourage larger businesses to pay their small suppliers as fast as possible to help them maintain their cash flow and combat the rising cost of doing business.

The Wait Off campaign is backed by the Small Business Commissioner and leaders from some of the UK’s biggest business groups including the CBI, FSB and British Chambers of Commerce.

Organisations of any size can back the campaign, and you can download a free digital pack to show your support.

Find out more about the campaign

Business Debtline

Business Debtline is a charity providing free and independent debt advice over the phone and online. It also provides a range of debt advice factsheets on topics such as:

  • Business rates.
  • Business debts.
  • Managing business finances.
  • Dealing with creditors.
  • Debt solutions.

The British Business Bank

The British Business Bank provides signposting to sources of advice and guidance on managing business debt, such as independent advisers, banks, HM Revenue & Customs and industry bodies.

Time to Pay

If you cannot pay your Self-Assessment tax bill in full, the Time to Pay service from HM Revenue & Customs may allow you to pay what you owe in instalments.

Climate Hub

Taking action on climate change can help you save money through efficiencies. Visit our Climate Hub to find out more and access our range of resources and support.

Visit the Climate Hub

The Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge (BCC)

The Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge (BCC) is an energy efficiency programme which supports businesses to reduce their energy consumption and to accelerate building decarbonisation efforts in London. Emissions from heating and powering London’s commercial and industrial buildings currently make up 36% of the capital’s carbon footprint.  

The programme provides free support to help make buildings more energy efficient, reduce energy costs and support businesses on their pathway to zero carbon.  The BCC has been developed with pro bono support from Bloomberg Associates, and builds on learnings from other global cities.   

Find out more

ReLondon

ReLondon provides practical, one-to-one support and consultancy to help small and medium-sized businesses grow by translating circular principles into opportunities. Access support to:

  • Discover how to design circularity into your business to make the most of resources, cut costs and tap into new revenue opportunities.
  • Assess and test the circularity of your business.
  • Scale your business and expand your networks.

Find out more

Zero readiness

Sustainable Ventures have partnered with the Mayor of London to provide businesses with four hours of free tailored support to assist you with your net zero readiness strategy.

Find out more 

Help with the cost of living

Mayor of London

Grants of between £5,000 and £25,000 are available under the Mayor of London Warmer Homes Scheme. Recently the Mayor recorded a video about the cost of living crisis, urging Londoners to apply to the Mayor’s Warmer Homes programme. Grants are available to eligible low-income homeowners and private tenants who earn below £30,0000 to make home improvements. It is open to all Londoners who meet the eligibility criteria.

Energy Bills Support Scheme

Households will receive £400 towards their energy bills this winter, with payments made in 6 instalments from October. The discounts will be administered by energy suppliers – those who pay for their energy via standard credit, payment card and direct debit will receive an automatic deduction to their bills over the 6 month period.

Prepayment meter customers will be provided with discount vouchers from the first week of each month, issued via SMS text, email or post, using the customer’s registered contact details. These customers will need to redeem these at their usual top-up point, such as their nearest local PayPoint or Post Office branch.

Find out more about the scheme.

Energy Price Guarantee

From 1 October 2022, the Energy Price Guarantee will reduce the unit cost of electricity and gas so that a typical household in Great Britain pays, on average, around £2,500 a year on their energy bill.

A Treasury-led review will be launched to consider how to support households and businesses with energy bills after April 2023.

The Mayor of London has launched a cost of living hub. The hub includes information about the benefits, grants and discounts Londoners can get if they’re in financial difficulty, from the Mayor of London, government, your local council, charities and advice centres.

The Government has also launched a new cost of living campaign bringing together the various schemes to support households. It also provides information on what offers are available from businesses to help with the cost of living.

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