Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 17th October 2018.

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Photo of Rehman Chishti Rehman Chishti Vice-Chair, Conservative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps his Department is taking to support the self-employed in (a) Kent, (b) Medway and (c) England.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Our Industrial Strategy sets out our long-term plan to support entrepreneurs starting and growing a business.

The Kent and Medway Growth Hub provides a range of support for people looking to start and grow their business. Through the 38 local Growth Hubs, self-employed business people can access tailored advice and support - including learning about improving business planning, accounting, marketing and procurement. For example, Medway Council fund a free three-day workshop that provides people with the key things you need to know about starting their own business.

Access to finance is also important. Since March 2012, the Start Up Loans Company, part of the Government-owned British Business Bank, has provided over 1,000 loans worth just under £7 million to start-up businesses in Kent and over £800,000 to businesses in Medway.

Government are supporting the self employed more broadly, such as self-employed mothers who qualify for Maternity Allowance are also now able to share parental leave and pay with an employed father or partner. In addition, the Government has increased the personal allowance from £11,500 to £11,850 (benefiting employed and self-employed taxpayers) and self-employed people are now able to build their entitlement to the new State Pension at the same rate as employed people.

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