Businesses need support to achieve responsible business goals on emissions

Businesses need support to achieve responsible business goals on emissions

Two-thirds of SMEs would back the provision of funding through tax reliefs for those firms investing in specific areas known as ‘social offsetting,’ according to a survey.

Offsetting is compensating for a firm’s carbon emissions by supporting or funding an environmental project elsewhere, with an overall aim to improve public health, promote sustainable consumption and/or reduce poverty.

What kind of support are SMEs seeking?

But despite being keen to achieve their responsible business goals, SMEs say they need more Government support to stay afloat after the Recovery Loan Scheme, which was introduced during the pandemic and closed at the end of June.

YouGov carried out the survey of 1,973 on behalf of Informi, the website for small business owners and start-ups and powered by AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians).

While 67 per cent supported ‘social offsetting’, 63 per cent wanted free training in specific areas, such as management skills, digital skills and finance, to improve productivity.

How would tax breaks help?

A further nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of those surveyed said a tax break for work-related training would help them, while 60 per cent said they supported tax incentives to meet net zero carbon obligations.

When asked which policies would help their small business now, many favoured earlier interventions, such as:

·        Lower National Insurance contributions (46 per cent)

·        Lower Corporation Tax (39 per cent)

·        Wider availability of cash grants (25 per cent).

By contrast, just 15 per cent wanted clearer, long-term incentives to meet net zero obligations, whilst 14 per cent said greater access to training would help them in the short term.

Adam Harper, Director of Professional Standards & Policy, AAT, said: “These results show that many small businesses need more support to invest in longer-term goals – such as meeting net zero obligations and increased training opportunities – benefiting not only individual employees and small businesses, but also the economy as a whole.”

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