Swoop’s view on the big news for SMEs in the October ’21 Budget

Updated: October 29, 2021 at 11:22 am
Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s budget speech contained some good news for the UK’s SMEs including extra money for innovation and an extension on the RLS lifeline

Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Budget yesterday. As with any speech in the Commons there was a heavy dose of politics, some playing to the gallery and a couple of regrettable jokes. There were, however, some good reasons for SMEs to feel positive about 2022. 

Will your business be ready for what’s coming down the road? Read on to learn more about some of the big changes for SMEs announced in the budget and make sure you’re ready for how things will change. 


Watch the video: 

Ian Hawkins, Head of Content at Swoop (and veteran Parliament-watcher) gives his top takeaways in this video.



RLS Extension

Surprising nobody, the Recovery Loan Scheme (RLS) has been extended beyond the original deadline of midnight on 31 December 2021. This news was leaked a couple of days ago (for which the Chancellor’s speech began with a ticking off from the Deputy Speaker). So far, so much political theatre. 

For SMEs, the window of opportunity to take advantage of the scheme has been left open until June 2022. As the recovery will not be even across industries and there may yet be choppy waters ahead, it’s good to know that there are potential lifelines available into the middle of next year. 

You may have learned about this extension on the recent Swoop webinar with Edward Revell, Lending Lead at Starling Bank. The important thing to remember is that even if you were unsuccessful in a past application, it may be worth checking again as things will have changed. 

R&D Tax Credits

Swoop is a strong advocate of R&D tax credits, because we know that many companies either don’t know they exist or don’t realise they qualify for them. 

The Chancellor has made R&D part of his plan to build a robust and innovative economy and has expanded the definition of R&D to include data and cloud computing.  

We’ll be making sure that we are aware of the full timeline for these new measures and will be able to support you through the process of getting any R&D Tax Credits for which you are qualified. 

Learn more here.

Hospitality and Leisure

Hospitality and leisure were hit badly by lockdown. The budget has introduced a new 50 percent business rates discount for businesses in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors in England (up to £110,000 for one year). 

Coupled with the reduction in the price of a pint at the pump, this will give some extra incentives to licenced premises.  

For a sector that has been so badly hit, we wonder if 3p off a pint of cider will be enough to make a significant difference to a struggling industry – time will tell. 

Culture was also hit hard by lockdown: the response was a temporary increase in the headline rates of tax relief for theatres, museums, orchestras and galleries across the UK until 31 March 2024. 

Local Government Grants

The big news may be ‘levelling up’ which is going to take many forms as the Government pledges to revamp infrastructure across the UK – covering everything from filling in potholes to faster broadband. 

Sunak also announced grants of £4.8bn for local governments. If you have a public sector client, you may soon find that your local council is putting out a lot of nice contracts to tender. It may make sense to ensure that you have plans in place now to make the best pitch possible, which Swoop’s blog ‘The do’s and don’ts of creating a pitch deck’ can help you out with.

What did the Budget mean to you? Drop us a line: editor@swoopfunding.com and let us know whether you think the Chancellor has got it right or has missed opportunities. 


READ MORE: What the Chancellor didn’t tell you

Andrea Reynolds, Founder and CEO at Swoop gives her take on some of the budget items that could make a big difference for SMEs. 


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