Small Business and the Budget; March 2021


On March, 3rd, 2021 Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak delivered his first budget of the year, and it wasn’t as bad as feared!

Despite the bad news that 700,000 people lost their jobs in the last year, his March Budget promises £5 billion to help business recover. It also included extending the furlough period until September 2021, which will, no doubt, be god news for some of you out there!

So, if you need to know about Small Business and the Budget, here are the highlights of the March 2021 Budget and what support is available for SMEs.


Furlough Period

Perhaps the best thing related to Small Business and the Budget is the news that the furlough period has been extended to the end of September 2021 with no change to the terms.

After July, there will be some contributions to be made by Businesses: 10% in July and 20% in August and September.

Support for the self-employed will also continue until September and eligibility has been widened.

National Minimum Wage Increase

Rates from April 2020

Rates from April 2021

National Living Wage



21-22-Year-Old Rate



18-20-Year-Old Rate



16-17-Year-Old Rate



Apprentice Rate



Restart Grants

The Chancellor of the Exchequer also announced a Restart Grant worth up to £18,000 is to begin in April to help businesses reopen and get going again.

Non-Essential Retail businesses will receive grants of up to £6,000 per premises.

Hospitality and leisure businesses will get grants up to £18,000.

Business Rates

More good news regarding small business and the budget is that Business Rates holiday will be extended through to the end of June.



Reduced VAT will be extended for hospitality and tourism for 6 months to 30 September followed by an interim rate of 12.5 % for another 6 months.

The standard rate will not return until April 2022.


Income Tax Rates

The basic rate will rise to £12,570 next year

For higher-rate payers, the threshold will be £50,270.

These rates will be frozen until 2026.


Corporation Tax

From 2023 there will be a rise of corporation tax to 25% for businesses with profits over £250,000.


Alcohol and Fuel Duties 

The planned increase in Alcohol and Fuel duties will be cancelled.


Help to Grow Training for Small Businesses

Next up is some great news when it comes to Small Business and the Budget. Rishi Sunak also announced a £520 million scheme which will make free training available for UK businesses! The business can be from any sector that has been operating for more than 1 year, with between 5 to 249 employees eligible.

The participant should be a decision-maker or member of the senior management team within the business e.g. Chief Executive, Finance Director etc.

Charities are not eligible.

You can read more here.

To apply for the restart grant scheme you must visit your local council’s website. You can find the website for your local council here.



Incentives and grants for apprenticeships to rise to £3000, plus an extra £126 million for traineeships.


How Kate Underwood HR Can Help You Through 2021

If you’re worried about how to manage or have any questions regarding Small Business and the Budget, please do get in touch

Our office is fully open, and we can fully operate remotely so there will be no disruption in providing you with our own coronavirus support.

If you have any questions on Small Business and the Budget, why not book a call for when it suits you? Just click the button below… Simples!


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