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R&D and employee ownership should top Autumn Statement startup agenda

Jeremy Hunt chancellor should focus on R&D in the Autumn Statement for startups.
Image credit: Kirsty O'Connor/HM Treasury

The environment for startups has been brutal in recent years. Rising prices, elevated wage demands and swelling debt burdens provide daily tests for founders – on top of the regular challenges of hiring, fundraising and developing innovative new technologies.

Britain’s entrepreneurs have repeatedly displayed their resilience through Covid and the cost of living crisis that followed, but many are now struggling to survive. Company insolvencies are at their highest level since 2009, according to government figures.

There is no doubt that startups have been offered significant policy support over recent years, in the form of investment schemes (SEIS/EIS), R&D and lower tax rates. Yet, given the role they are set to play in the UK’s economic recovery, more must be done in the chancellor’s upcoming Autumn Statement to allow them to thrive....

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