14 November 2023

British Business Bank launches new ‘Making business finance work

The British Business Bank today launches a new guide aimed at smaller businesses to help them understand how different financial products can support them at all stages of their development.

The new guide, ‘Making business finance work for you', available on the British Business Bank's online Finance Hub, is designed to help businesses make informed choices about accessing the right type of finance. It highlights the most common challenges businesses might face and the types of finance that could help to meet them including:

  • Starting a business – Starting a new business often requires capital – money that is used to help research a business idea, create a prototype product, or purchase equipment or machinery that a new business will use.
  • Research and development – Research and development (R&D) is when a business develops innovative products, services, or processes.
  • Importing and exporting goods and services – Businesses selling goods or services overseas face risks when it comes to cash flow and receiving payment from buyers.

As well as online, the ‘Making business finance work for you' guide is also available in Accessible PDF, hard copy, BrailleAudio-Described and Large Print PDF (20pt) formats.


No growth in the UK’s GDP

UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have shown no growth in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2023, following an increase of 0.2% in the previous quarter. Compared with the same quarter a year ago, GDP is estimated to have increased by 0.6% in Quarter 3 2023.

In Quarter 3 2022, there was an additional bank holiday for the State Funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and many businesses closed or operated differently on this day. This should be considered when interpreting seasonally adjusted movements involving September 2022 and, to a lesser extent, Quarter 3 2022.

Click here for more details.


Apprenticeships Public Survey

The Trailblazer groups are inviting you to participate in a public survey to provide your comments on the Advanced & Creative Hair Professional apprenticeship proposal document submitted by trailblazer groups. 

Your feedback is essential in ensuring that the developed apprenticeships meet the training needs of relevant occupations and that they are viable, high-quality, and widely supported.

The short surveys will take no more than ten minutes to complete. The trailblazer groups are particularly interested in avoiding creating apprenticeships that have already been published or are already under development. Your input will greatly contribute to the success of this initiative.

ST0214 Advanced & Creative Hair Professional L3 Proposal: download proposal/start consultation.


Menopause Xplored

Free training for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire, combining virtual reality with expert information and advice.

Women over the age of 50 are the fastest-growing demographic in the workplace. At this stage in their careers, women are often at their most successful, productive and experienced. Yet it’s in the workplace that many people struggle with menopause symptoms. This can lead to them reducing their hours, passing up promotion or leaving their job altogether.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be this way. There are simple steps organisations can take to support people going through the menopause.

The one-hour workshops involve:

  • an immersive film, viewed through a virtual reality (VR) headset
  • information and guidance from leading menopause expert Diane Danzebrink
  • group discussion and questions
  • resource packs and downloadable toolkits.
  • There are two free places available for each organisation.

Find out more.


Campaigning for you – HM Treasury

The NHBF wrote to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Statement next week on 22 November when decisions are made around Government spending calling for, amongst other things, a continuation of the 75% Retail discount for business rates into 2024-25, employer incentives for apprenticeships and an urgent review of VAT. The NHBF submission to HM Treasury used your data and feedback through the State of the Industry survey results for September 2023.

In response to the submission, Victoria Atkins MP, Financial Secretary at HM Treasury said that:

Business rates: the government has announced a package worth £13.6 billion for businesses over the next five years. Businesses in the retail sector will receive a tax cut worth over £2 billion in 2023-24. The government has also committed to freezing the multiplier for a further year which is a tax cut worth £9.3 billion over the next five years. They also point to three-year transitional relief and a three-year supporting small business scheme worth over £500 million. The government considered a reduction in the multiplier but recognised that it would lose the revenue needed to fund public services at a local level.
Apprenticeships: the government believe that their reforms in the last decade have led to the ‘overall improvement in the quality and prestige of apprenticeships’ but nothing in the response pointed to further reform and incentives to employers. We will continue to push on this.
VAT threshold: the government says that the UK has a higher VAT threshold than any EU Member State keeping the majority of businesses out of VAT altogether. ‘Views on the VAT registration threshold are divided but the case for change has been regularly reviewed over the years. While some businesses have argued that a higher threshold would reduce administrative and financial burdens, others contend that a lower threshold would provide a fairer competitive environment’.

We will continue to fight for your interests with the Government.