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The government is committed to supporting small businesses across the UK, and has recently taken a number of measures to support Scotland’s 326,000 SMEs.
In February 2014, the Start Up Loans programme went live in Scotland, and has already supported 500 Scottish entrepreneurs to start their own business with £1.6m of loans.
In April 2014, the Government launched the Employment Allowance to allow businesses and charities throughout the UK to deduct up to £2,000 off their employer National Insurance contributions (NICs) bill each year. By June 2014, 57,000 Scottish SMEs had benefitted from this scheme. Also in April 2014, the government increased the rate of the credit payable to loss-making SMEs investing in research and development from 11% to 14.5% and doubled the Annual Investment Allowance to £500,000 until 2016 to support business investment.
The Government has also launched new tax reliefs for the production of high-end television, animation, video games and theatre and introduced the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme to support small early stage companies seeking equity investment.