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What does the October 2021 budget mean for your business?

Virgin Media O2’s SMB Director, Maria Fernandez, selects some of the key highlights following the Chancellor’s statement on 27 October.

In his Autumn Budget statement, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, gave us the Government’s view on the state of the UK economy and public finances. He also set out measures that could have a direct impact on smaller and medium-sized businesses over the coming months and years.


In the 18 months leading up to the Chancellor’s statement, these businesses will have been working hard to adjust to the economic impact of COVID-19. In particular, how to keep teams connected, maintain employee morale, stay profitable and debt management.


When I talk to O2 Business customers, I’m always amazed by the stories of resilience I hear. And I’m equally proud of how O2 is playing its part in helping one of the most important sectors of our economy to adapt and to grow. Whether it’s our Business Flex tariffs or our digital tools that support better collaboration. The key thing for us is to make sure we’re meeting the needs of businesses and the people who work within them.


Now that O2 and Virgin Media are one team, I’m looking forward to doing even more for our customers. It opens up the opportunity for cost saving and added value like having our experts on-hand to offer advice on new ways to grow. And providing insights to help you plan ahead.


With that in mind, here are some highlights from the 2021 Autumn Budget and Spending Review and what they could mean for your business. You can also find more analysis here from our friends at Enterprise Nation.  


Economy set to hit pre-Covid level at the end of the year

  • Some positive signs that the UK economy is forecasted to return to pre-Covid levels by 2022 and annual growth set to rebound by 6.5% this year, followed by 6% in 2022.


Wages and taxes on the rise

  • The Chancellor announced an increase in the minimum wage and a rise in National Insurance Contributions. While this is good news in part for the employee, it may have an impact on smaller businesses now having to find additional funds to pay for staff. And with inflation set to rise to 4% over the coming year, this could put further pressure on businesses to fund higher salaries.
  • The Chancellor did however pledge that tax will be going ‘down not up’ before the next election.


Changes to business rates

  • Half-price business rates for one year – up to a maximum of £110,000 – for firms in retail, hospitality and leisure
  • Business rates revaluations will now be every three years from 2023
  • Business rates investment relief to encourage firms to adopt green tech, like solar panels
  • Businesses will face no extra business rates for 12 months after making property improvements


Levelling Up Fund projects

  • The government will be investing £1.7bn in local areas across the UK which will likely have an impact on smaller businesses benefitting from this investment.
  • In addition, there are government backed projects in Aberdeen, Bury, Burnley, Lewes, Clwyd South, Stoke-on-Trent, Ashton under Lyne, Doncaster, South Leicester, Sunderland and West Leeds to support growth and development in these areas.


Whatever the impact of the Budget on your business, we’re here to help you adjust to current economic demands on your business.


Whether you need advice on how to adapt to the new measures. Or you’re still grappling with the impact of the global pandemic. We can help you keep your people connected, productive and secure. So you can focus on doing what’s right for you and your business.


Are you looking for ways to adapt to the current business environment? Take a look at how we can help your business flex and get the most out of your digital tools. Or just get in touch with our team today.

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