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Here are some of the key points recapped from the Autumn Statement this week. If you want to know more just give your usual contact a call.

Support for the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors, which have been hit hard by the pandemic, with a 50% business rates discount in 2022/23 for these sectors capped at a maximum of £110,000. This also applies to high street personal care businesses like hairdressers. In addition, he has scrapped 2022's planned annual increase in rates for all firms for the second year in a row.

A National Living Wage increase up to £9.50 an hour to be introduced from April 2022.

The launch of the Help to Grow: Digital scheme in December, providing small businesses with free, impartial online support on how to use digital technology to boost their performance. It will also offer small businesses access to discounts worth up to £5,000 towards the costs of buying approved software. Businesses can now register their interest for the scheme.

The extension of the Recovery Loan Scheme by 6 months to June 2022.

Business rates exemption for green property improvements, including solar panels and heat pumps, to help businesses invest to make buildings more energy efficient. "From 2023 every single business will be able to make property improvements and pay no more in business rates for 12 months," he said. "Together with the green investment relief, we are introducing investment incentives totalling £750m."

Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) – £1 million annual limit extended to 31 March 2023

Businesses can claim 100% capital allowances (AIA) on expenditure incurred on qualifying plant and machinery, up to a specified annual limit each year. Where they spend more than the annual AIA limit, any additional qualifying expenditure will attract relief under the normal capital allowances regime (rates at 18% or 6%), which can considerably delay the tax relief.

The government will extend the temporary £1m level of the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) to 31 March 2023. It was due to expire at the end of 2021 so this will give some to smaller firms to take advantage of the tax break on investment.

This is good news for businesses who were looking to spend on plant and machinery and now gives them more time to plan and spend wisely in the current climate. We would always of course recommend that such spending should take account of commercial considerations.

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