We’ve come to the end of March!

This month saw the Chancellor of the UK Jeremy Hunt release the Spring Budget, which has introduced many changes for those in the business and tax sector.

Here’s your roundup of business and tax news for March 2023.

Rise In Interest Rates

The Bank Of England has announced that interest rates will rise to 4.25%, after an unexpected rise in inflation rate to 10.4% in February. The Inflation rate has been predicted to fall by 2.9% by the end of 2023.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has said however the UK is likely to avoid a recession, but that the economy is set to shrink by 2%. 

Payroll Benefit Deadline

The deadline to register with HMRC for payroll benefits in the 2023/24 tax year is 5 April 2023. You must register on or before this date to qualify.

Back In Business Rate Support Scheme To Close

For those in Northern Ireland, the Department Of Finance has announced that applications for the Back In Business rate support scheme will come to an end on March 31st 2023.

The scheme has been operating since April 2022, helping businesses throughout Northern Ireland to benefit from the rates support. It’s given small businesses greater financial security, as well as helping to regenerate the high street.

Applications Open For Create Growth South East

Good news for creative industries in the south east – applications are now open for Create Growth South East, allowing businesses to benefit from a programme of support designed to help them prepare for any future financial investment and business growth.

Leader of West Sussex County Council Paul Marshall said: “The future wellbeing of the county is reliant on the growth of a sustainable and prosperous economy. As outlined in our council plan, we will focus on supporting new and existing businesses and the Create Growth Programme is the perfect example of that. The creative industries make a huge contribution to the economy, and West Sussex County Council is committed to supporting ambitious businesses to realise their potential.  The Create Growth Programme offers a fantastic opportunity for these creative businesses to attract
investment for growth”.

Retail Sales Boost

Retail Sales have had a boost due to second hand and discount stores.

Due to the cost-of-living crisis, consumers have been turning to these stores to get their essentials, which has led to a boost – with sales rising 1.2% in the last month – the biggest gain since October 2022. ONS Have said that sale volumes are now back to pre-pandemic levels, though are 3.5% lower than last year.

Levelling Up To Continue

In the recent budget, Jeremy Hunt revealed plans to create a dozen new investment zones in areas including the West Midlands, Greater Manchester, Liverpool and Teeside.

The areas will need to develop their proposals focusing on universities or research institutes, and successful applicants will be given £80m of support.

There will also be an extra £400m for “levelling up partnerships” in areas such as Redcar and Cleveland and Rochdale.

That brings us to the end of another month! Have a great April, and remember to keep an eye out for any changes in the world of business and tax this upcoming month.