Category Archives: Glazers Blog

New free tool to help small businesses and charities develop “essential digital skills”

A free online platform will support Britain’s six million small businesses and charities develop “essential digital skills”, it has been announced.

Digital Boost – launched by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in collaboration with Founders4Schools and BCG Digital Ventures – comes as businesses across the country are forced to adapt to strict social distancing laws.

The free-to-use platform also comes after recent research revealed that less than a third of small businesses have a “high degree of digitalisation” – meaning few are prepared to sell and market their products and services online.

“At this critical time, Digital Boost not only wants to help small businesses and charities survive the COVID crisis, but also contribute to their long-term competitiveness in today’s digital world,” say the creators.

According to reports, the new platform will have three core service offerings to help equip small businesses and charities with digital skills.

These include “Boost Calls” – one-to-one mentoring sessions with digital volunteers from leading tech and finance firms (such as Google, Oxford University, McCann and Global Tech Advocates), interactive group masterclasses run by digital experts, known as “Boost Workshops, and a raft of online content on digitalisation, known as “Boost Skills”.

Commenting on the announcement, Caroline Dinenage, Minister for Digital and Culture at DCMS, said: “It is vital small businesses and charities are able to seize the benefits of modern technology. The new Digital Boost platform will help these organisations develop the skills they need. We look forward to helping build a community of digital experts, who are able to offer guidance and support to these organisations free of charge at this challenging time.”

Welcoming the launch, Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director at the CBI, added: “Adopting digital technologies can help firms grow, find opportunity and be more resilient, so the potential impact of Digital Boost is enormous. Digital Boost promises to help businesses and charities find opportunity amid this crisis by embracing the digitalisation of their industries to support a stronger, more productive recovery.”

To access Digital Boost, please click here.

For more business advice specific to your sector, please get in touch with our expert team today.

Consultation on R&D tax credit scheme

The Government is currently consulting on proposals, which suggest that there should be a cap on the distribution of research and development (R&D) tax credits for struggling small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Moreover, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) has raised concerns that if implemented, this could harm a thriving sector. Continue reading

Stamp Duty relief saves first-time buyers £426 million

More than 180,500 first-time buyers have saved on purchasing their first home since the introduction of Stamp Duty Land Tax relief, new figures reveal.

The data, published by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), shows that the estimated total amount saved by buyers is more than £426 million.

The relief, introduced in November 2017, can be used when buying a residential property where the purchase price is no more than £500,000 in England and Northern Ireland, providing the purchaser does not own any other properties and intends to use it as their main residence.

Under the scheme, no Stamp Duty is due on properties up to the value of £300,000 (£500,000 in London) and tapered on any amount between £300,000 and £500,000 at five per cent. This gives a maximum saving of up to £5,000 for each first-time buyer.

And as of last month’s Autumn Budget, the relief was extended to first-time buyers purchasing through approved shared ownership schemes who choose to pay Stamp Duty in stages, rather than on the market value of the property.

It is notable that this has been retrospectively applied to eligible property transactions since last November.

In total, the data shows that the relief was claimed in more than 58,800 transactions between July and September this year – an increase of 12 per cent compared to the previous quarter.

Commenting on the figures, Mel Stride MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “These statistics show that the government was right to offer a helping hand to first time buyers. Without this investment, more than 180,500 new homeowners may have struggled to get onto the property ladder. Maintaining the status quo was not an option.”