Local accountant responds to ‘Small business blue Monday’

Date published: 01 April 2019

The Federation of Small Businesses warned today (1 April) that ‘Small businesses across Greater Manchester will be bracing themselves for a week of new cost increases and reporting requirements'.

Hikes to business rates bills, HMRC forcing VAT-registered businesses to comply with its Making Tax Digital initiative and businesses being required to put more aside for employees saving into auto-enrolment pension schemes all come into effect in April 2019.

Ruth Pringle FCA from Pringle Accountants Limited and Rochdale Loves Small Business said: “The value of small business to the economy is huge and in Rochdale we have loads of fantastic small businesses who contribute massively to our community as well as our local economy. 

“However, the pace of change to business regulation over recent times, including Making Tax Digital, auto-enrolment [workplace pensions] and changes to business rates and other taxation, don’t just come with a financial burden but also significant amounts of lost time and additional stress, especially for the smallest of businesses who can least afford it.

“As we hear stories of some big businesses moving away from the UK in the uncertainty around Brexit, the contribution of small business has never been more important. 

“But faced with a seemingly ever increasing financial and compliance burden, there is a real risk that small business owners will put off taking on staff and growing their business, or worse will just give up.

“I would advise business owners not to suffer alone, engage with organisations who can support you. 

“Locally, there is the informal Rochdale Jelly co-working group (www.facebook.com/rochdalejelly) for peer to peer support, as well as other business groups; or check out Enterprise Nation (www.enterprisenation.com), a national organisation who offer loads of on and off-line business support and are opening their new office in Manchester next week.

“If you don’t run a business, please support and encourage those who do, shop locally and use local business as much as possible. 

“Showing support won’t remove the burden, but it will help the local economy enormously, keeping local business owners and their employees more secure.”

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