The Spring 2021 budget saw some interesting headline announcements which, for SME’s, we feel might well be of value. Of course, as always the devil will be in the detail, and whilst there are other, and perhaps more pressing priorities for SME’s and business owners,  let us ‘’….. non ore equi dentes inspicere donate…””

Positive moves which will be welcome by many SME’s include:

  • Business rates holiday has been extension
  • ‘Restart’ grants to help the high street reopen
  • Furlough extension until the end of September 2021
  • Increased and widening eligibility for Self-employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)
  • Community fund to buy out public houses
  • Management training


Of these, it is encouraging to see HMG’s acknowledging the importance of executive and professional training, learning and development, as part of a wider and integrated business growth strategy.

The importance of the allocated funds for the Small Business Leadership Programme – MBA style ‘executive’ business training for business owners and SME leaders is critical and welcome.

We would suggest that the initial 30,000 places and could and should be significantly enhanced and the eligibility widened downward to all sole, micro and SME business owners and leaders; and note that an investment of £750 is not insignificant, especially in the current climate with so many demands on cashflow and prudent expenditure.

That said, the The Help to Grow initiative is welcome and a step in the right direction, especially when taken with the accompanying discounts on productivity software.