How to grow businesses in Silicon Roundabout

December 21, 2010 12:36 PM

Last night I attend a Silicon Roundabout event.  David Willets MP along with Anthony Brown from the Mayor’s office were invited to Techhub to answer questions asked by small tech startups and businesses.  The questions ranged from venture capital funding to recruiting to education and everything in between.  By the end of the hour long Q and A, some themes emerged.  If the Coalition government acted wisely and responded to the concerns of small tech companies then the UK could possibly have a world-class technology centre.

Below are some ‘easy wins’ or ways in which the government can support Silicon Roundabout immediately.  These ideas all emerge from last night’s trends or themes.
1.    Make it easier for start-ups to hire and retain talent by extending the National Insurance tax break to companies in London and the southeast. Several start-ups mentioned last night that the cost in tax of hiring and keeping employees was one of the most expensive aspects of their businesses.  Ensuring that small to medium, new companies don’t have to pay national insurance for the first year seems like an easy solution to this burdensome issue.
2.    Cut capital gains tax to encourage more private investment. Many of the tech companies last night said that they would rather seek investments from private individuals than the government and more than a few suggested that if capital gains taxes were cut, this might encourage private investments.
3.   Cut corporation tax. The Coalition government is planning on lowering corporation tax already, but not enough to incentivise small companies to strike out on their own in many cases.  Cutting corporation tax to nearly 0% for small tech companies would allow for reinvestment into their own businesses.
4.    Cut business rates and related taxes for Hackney based companies. Hackney is now home to Shoreditch and Silicon Roundabout.  Cutting business rates and reducing council tax for companies who both live and work in the area are easy ways to encourage local companies to remain in the area.  The council would benefit from employees and residents frequenting local businesses and allowing a world class technology centre to grow without paying burdensome taxes which just might discourage companies from locating in the area.

Implementing all of these idea would allow for current businesses to grow and encourage new tech start-ups to emerge.  The good news is that even in spite of all of the regulation and taxes burdening on new and emerging companies in the tech sector right now, I met a number of interesting and motivated people last night who are starting and running new businesses.  With just a little more help from the government – or rather the government getting out of the way – Silicon Roundabout could grow even more quickly and be a world class technology centre in no time at all.Last night I attend a Silicon Roundabout event.  David Willets MP along with Anthony Brown from the Mayor’s office were invited to Techhub to answer questions asked by small tech startups and businesses.  The questions ranged from venture capital funding to recruiting to education and everything in between.  By the end of the hour long Q and A, some themes emerged.  If the Coalition government acted wisely and responded to the concerns of small tech companies then the UK could possibly have a world-class technology centre.

Below are some ‘easy wins’ or ways in which the government can support Silicon Roundabout immediately.  These ideas all emerge from last night’s trends or themes.
1.    Make it easier for start-ups to hire and retain talent by extending the National Insurance tax break to companies in London and the southeast. Several start-ups mentioned last night that the cost in tax of hiring and keeping employees was one of the most expensive aspects of their businesses.  Ensuring that small to medium, new companies don’t have to pay national insurance for the first year seems like an easy solution to this burdensome issue.
2.    Cut capital gains tax to encourage more private investment. Many of the tech companies last night said that they would rather seek investments from private individuals than the government and more than a few suggested that if capital gains taxes were cut, this might encourage private investments.
3.   Cut corporation tax. The Coalition government is planning on lowering corporation tax already, but not enough to incentivise small companies to strike out on their own in many cases.  Cutting corporation tax to nearly 0% for small tech companies would allow for reinvestment into their own businesses.
4.    Cut business rates and related taxes for Hackney based companies. Hackney is now home to Shoreditch and Silicon Roundabout.  Cutting business rates and reducing council tax for companies who both live and work in the area are easy ways to encourage local companies to remain in the area.  The council would benefit from employees and residents frequenting local businesses and allowing a world class technology centre to grow without paying burdensome taxes which just might discourage companies from locating in the area.

Implementing all of these idea would allow for current businesses to grow and encourage new tech start-ups to emerge.  The good news is that even in spite of all of the regulation and taxes burdening on new and emerging companies in the tech sector right now, I met a number of interesting and motivated people last night who are starting and running new businesses.  With just a little more help from the government – or rather the government getting out of the way – Silicon Roundabout could grow even more quickly and be a world class technology centre in no time at all.

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