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Budget to benefit the region's small businesses
17 Mar 2016

Thousands of small businesses across the West Midlands & Shropshire will benefit from business rate announcements in yesterday’s Budget. 

Corporate law partners James Sage and Stuart Rea, both welcomed the move but don’t believe the Chancellor’s speech lit the fires for business enterprise and investment – particularly for the region’s larger employers and manufacturers….

James Sage, Head of Corporate law with FBC Manby Bowdler in Wolverhampton, said the business rate relief announcements were a mixed bag for companies in the West Midlands. 

“The business community will undoubtedly welcome the new thresholds on business rate tax relief. Although given that proceeds business rates are to be retained by local authorities, it is hardly a giveaway by the Chancellor and potentially a further burden on under-pressure councils. 

“Mr Osborne failed to exclude plant and machinery from the rate calculations, a move which could have been the catalyst for significant investment in capital projects by our manufacturers, resulting in increased productivity and private sector job creation. 

“However, subject to reviewing the detail there does appear to be good news for those looking to invest and for SMEs looking for injections of capital, with the extension of Entrepreneurs’ Relief to external investors in unlisted trading companies from this month with a minimum 3 year holding period.”

Stuart Rea, Head of Corporate at FBC Manby Bowdler in Shropshire, said business would welcome the decision to drop corporation tax to 17% by 2020.

“This announcement was one of several which will benefit business owners – and particularly SMEs which make up more than 90 per cent of our business base here in Shropshire. 

“The new threshold for business rate relief from £6,000 to £15,000 and also on higher rate payers from from £18,000 to £51,000, will also see thousands of our businesses see rate bills fall or disappear completely.

“I’m not convinced that the Budget really did put “rocket boosters on the back of enterprise” but any announcements which reduce the tax burden for business are good news.”

For further information on current business rates you can contact James on 01902 392435 or or Stuart on 01743 284159 or

Meet James Sage

Meet Stuart Rea