CEO of Euro Car Parts, Martin Gray, comments on the recent 2018 budget announcement and how it will impact small businesses.

He said ‘As the dust settles on Philip Hammond’s 2018 budget announcement, it’s clear that this was a declaration with small businesses firmly in mind’.

‘Perhaps the most promising announcement for independent garage owners was a pledge to cut business rates by up to a third for all small retailers with a rateable value of £51,000 or less. The measure, which is set to remain in place until the next re-evaluation in 2021, is estimated to save up to £8,000 per year for 90% of small businesses’.

‘This tax relief represents a significant opportunity for independent repairers to focus on their own business growth. Indeed, that extra £8,000 would serve workshops well if they invested it in the skills and equipment required to continue servicing the vehicles of tomorrow. Modern vehicles are becoming more complex with sophisticated use of electrics and it is essential that the independent sector has both the skills and equipment required to work safely on these vehicles during repair and servicing work’.

‘Linked to this is, of course, the importance of training and attracting the talent of tomorrow. In his speech, the chancellor announced that the 10% fee small businesses must pay when they hire an apprentice has been halved, as part of a £695m package to support apprenticeships…’