Girvan Gault, Finance and Banking Consultant, Pinnacle Growth Group, commenting on the mini budget announcement, said: “It’s been an interesting few days for the UK economy and whilst it isn’t entirely clear how this will impact NI’s businesses, there are important considerations for our business owners. Rates are the highest we’ve seen since the 2008 economic crisis. With a seventh consecutive interest rate increase, the Bank of England base rate at 2.25 percent and more rises expected later this year and into 2023, we are entering uncharted waters.

“Businesses are also negotiating an uncertain economic climate and global energy crisis, making operations incredibly challenging. It is critical to have a clear strategy and budgets, to inform decision-making around investments, costs and pricing.

“However, today’s mini budget has also focused on ways to help businesses. The decision not to apply the previously agreed increase in corporation tax is positive, as is the reversal of National Insurance increases. The concept of specialized enterprise centers attracting tax concessions could be attractive to emerging and growing SMEs, and the reduction in stamp duty should help the property market and associated sectors.

“This is one of the biggest tax give aways in at least a generation but it remains to be seen whether this high-risk approach will ignite an economy which is already entering recession. Increased borrowing costs could heavily impact our SMEs and start-ups who rely on early-stage borrowing, while increased rates elevate costs and make accessing finance more difficult.

“NI businesses should review their objectives and be flexible to this fluid environment. If you have growth plans, make sure you have sufficient access to capital as higher interest rates will impact profitability and the ability to obtain funding.

“Whilst these are challenging times it is encouraging to see many businesses continue to flourish and I have no doubt the fast-moving economy will present opportunities. I recommend that businesses continue to review their objectives regularly and stay close to their advisors. Planning and adaptability have never been so important.”

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