Over one million small businesses across the country will be able to access significant savings with the new Employment Allowance, which came into force this April. The scheme, which will mean eligible employers will save up to £2,000 a year on their employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs), will enable businesses to invest the money saved into growth or other areas that benefit them.

The allowance, originally announced by the Chancellor at Budget 2013, is just one of the many schemes available to help small businesses start-up and scale-up their organisations in the UK, giving employers the opportunity to take advantage in their first payroll of the year.  The scheme feeds into the wider Business is GREAT Britain initiative, which aims to build confidence in small businesses across the country and match their potential for success with the services that can help them grow, hire, lead and export.

Getting the right people in place is important to employers' planning for potential future growth, with 44% of employers influenced to hire due to business expansion,  according to a new poll commissioned by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). However, over a quarter (28.66%) of small businesses find it difficult to find the right type of candidates, with nearly half of employers rating experience as the most important factor when looking to recruit new staff.

Personal qualities ranked a close second on the employer 'wish-list' with over 37% feeling these could help their business to succeed. Reliability (39%) and a hard working nature (32%) were ranked as the top attributes that employers' value in individuals when building and growing their business in 2014 and beyond.

Matthew Hancock, Minster for Skills and Enterprise said:

business-18162_1280"As businesses grow, it is crucial to recruit and retain staff with the right skills and attributes to go further, an area we support through Apprenticeships and through the business recruitment advice across Government's small business services.

"Government is backing Britain's small businesses by supporting them to grow to their full potential, nurture new talent and skills, export where there is the interest and opportunity, and lead the way for others to follow. As well as financial support, such as the new Employment Allowance of £2000 off National Insurance, this support includes linking businesses together to mentor and share best practice."

With over 500,000 small businesses launched in the last year, the UK provides the right support for others to start-up and expand. Further information and details of the help available for small businesses is available at www.greatbusiness.gov.uk.

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