With everybody talking about economic uncertainty, investor nerves and banks heading for the hills, you would be forgiven for thinking it’s the end of the world for small businesses and start-ups. At this stage, it’s impossible to accurately predict what the funding landscape will look like over the next two years and beyond.
Good news: there’s a silver lining. While ‘Brexit’ may not have been the most ideal outcome for many business owners for whom uncertainty is frightening, there is indication that the UK will be spending more money in different forms of government funding. Various grants and tax relief schemes ensure that the world’s 5th largest economy stays competitive. There are also rumours abound that HMRC will be cutting corporation tax to 15%.
There’s also creativity in limitation. If, in the future, certain EU-based funding schemes are closed off to UK-based applications, you’ll discover that there’s a vast amount of grant funding and tax relief schemes that you weren’t previously unaware of. We recently helped one aerospace engineering company find a grant for almost £2 million.
What are some of the vehicles the government currently uses to promote business development? Here’s a short sampling:
- Entrepreneurs’ Relief
- R&D Tax Credits
- Film and TV Tax Relief
- Video Game Tax Relief
- SEIS/EIS (Seed) Enterprise Investment Scheme
- Annual Investment Allowance
- Patent Box
- Grant funding (Local, Regional, and national), and many others.
The antiquated model of research and development as some cryptic activity performed by scientists in white lab coats is gone. What we have now is a government who recognises that modern innovation, such as mobile application development, is now carried out in well-designed startup offices by hoodie-wearing software developers.
And what about EU money? Nothing is changing until the UK formally leaves the EU which won’t be for at least another two years. So run, skip, and jump to Horizon2020, ERDF, and all European Commission funding while it’s still there.