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Key announcements for tech today were made by the Chancellor in his Autumn Statement.

George Osborne took advantage of growing optimism in the country’s growth to offer a series of aids to small businesses.

A “big extension” of the Start Up Loans scheme, another year’s capping of business rates and no National Insurance contributions for under-21s were among the policies pledged.

Start Up Loans extension promised

George Osborne told the House of Commons:

I can announce a big expansion of Start Up Loans, through which a new generation of entrepreneurs is being created.

50,000 more people will be helped to fulfil their aspiration to start their own business.

The scheme offers young entrepreneurs loans of about £2,500 to help them start businesses.

The Department for Business Innovation & Skills revealed last month that the funding scheme had dished out 10,000 loans.

Business rates capped for another year

The Chancellor pledged to cap business rate rises at 2% for another year, and extend the small business rate relief scheme beyond April 2014.

Businesses will also be allowed to pay their rates in 12 monthly instalments.

And small businesses with properties worth up to £50,000 will be entitled to a £1,000 discount on their rates.

No NI contributions for under-21s

National Insurance contributions will be scrapped for under-21s, in a bid to get more young people into work.

The move is likely to affect around 1.5 million jobs.

Tech City News covered the Autumn Statement in a live web debate.

[button link=’http://www.uktech.news/2013/12/05/live-debate-autumn-statement/’]Click here to view our blow-by-blow account[/button]