SME Community Responds to Autumn Statement

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, made it clear in the Autumn Statement that he wanted to see start-up growth improve through better access to funding. The statement announced that the Government would invest £400 million into venture capital, which it hopes will “unlock” £1 billion worth of finance for scaling start-ups. The funds will be made available through the British Business Bank.

Philip Rhoden, director of Clubfinance is quoted in SmallBusiness.co.uk as saying the statement is “good news for companies benefiting or seeking to benefit from SEIS, EIS and VCT investments”. Particularly likely to benefit are digital, life science and fintech companies. The investment will also strive to keep London as the global hub of fintech.

KPMG’s co-head of Tech Growth, Patrick Imbach, believes that the statement shows that the Government understands that the UK’s tech start-up culture, compared to other world economies, is not where it needs to be. He said: “This announcement was a timely acknowledgment that our long-term investment culture in the UK, as far as tech start-ups are concerned at least, is lagging behind the likes of the US and China.”

Sancho Simmonds, head of the Scale-Up programme at Smith & Williamson, agrees, suggesting that UK SMEs are failing to compete with their US and European counterparts. He commented: “Action to support ambitious scale-up businesses needs to be taken now and some of the key initiatives announced today are very encouraging, as British businesses are currently  losing out to their US and European counterparts who already have the environment to succeed.”

You can read our full round up of the Autumn Statement here.