Skip to content

Lulalend is now Lula. We have a new name, a new look, but we're still your friends in funding 😃.

Navigating the Budget Speech: What SMEs Need to Know

The budget speech decoded for SMEs

By now, we’re all, hopefully, aware that SMEs drive economic growth and job creation. While SMEs might be the backend of the economy, the business landscape is constantly evolving, so staying informed about government policies and economic trends is crucial for your business to navigate it effectively.

With the recent budget speech outlining key priorities and changes, let’s break down what it means for your business and provide some essential takeaways and tips to help you make informed decisions.

The Budget Speech: The Good News 

Stable Finances: The government’s commitment to managing debt and controlling spending bodes well for creating a more stable and predictable business environment. This could provide a foundation for future planning and investment.

Takeaway: While the government may aim for a more stable economic outlook, it will likely take years to bear any fruit genuinely benefiting SMEs. Instead, use this opportunity to review your business’s financial health and develop a comprehensive financial plan that aligns with the current economic landscape.

This may include cost-cutting measures, exploring new revenue streams, diversifying your investment portfolio, or looking into fast and reliable business funding that fits your business’s needs.  

Investment in People: Increased funding for essential services like education and healthcare means potential growth in local demand for your goods and services. This presents opportunities to cater to evolving consumer needs and expand your market reach.

Takeaway: Keep a close eye on these developments and align your business strategy with the market’s changing needs. Consider investing in employee training and development to stay ahead and provide fantastic customer service.

Fuel Levy Freeze: With no increase in fuel levies, you can breathe a sigh of relief as it translates to cost savings on deliveries and transportation. This extra margin can be redirected towards business growth initiatives or improving operational efficiency.

Takeaway: Use these cost savings to invest in your business’s growth and expansion. 

EV Incentives: For SMEs involved in any part of the production of electric vehicles (EVs), the proposed tax breaks offer a competitive advantage and incentivise sustainable business practices. This presents an opportunity to explore and capitalise on the growing market for eco-friendly transportation solutions.

Takeaway: Keep up with the latest developments here to stay up-to-date and align your business with government sustainability goals. It’s a good idea to plan your business upgrades to include incentives for sustainable investment opportunities. This space has enormous growth potential, so it’s perfect for trend-watching over the next five years.

What you need to watch out for

Modest Tax Increases: While personal income tax remains unchanged for now, SMEs should prepare for slightly higher excise duties on alcohol and tobacco. These adjustments may impact consumer spending habits and demand for certain products and services.

Takeaway: Keep a close eye on shifts in consumer behaviour and adjust your business strategy accordingly. Consider diversifying your product portfolio to cater to evolving consumer needs and preferences.

Global Minimum Corporate Tax: The introduction of a global minimum corporate tax could have implications for SMEs depending on their business structure and international operations. It’s essential to stay updated on developments in this area and assess potential impacts on your business.

Takeaway: If this affects your business, we suggest working with tax experts and legal advisors to assess the potential impacts of the global minimum corporate tax on your business and develop a contingency plan accordingly. Consider diversifying your business’s operations and expanding into new markets to mitigate the global minimum corporate tax risks.

Overall Perspective For SMEs

According to Garth Rossiter, Chief Risk Officer and Head of Credit at Lula, there are some critical insights to consider regarding the budget speech. He emphasises the government’s challenges in balancing tax collection with the need to avoid further financial pressure on consumers and businesses, especially in an election year.

The introduction of a global minimum tax rate on large multinationals also raises concerns about its impact on investment and job creation in South Africa. Limiting job creation and not expanding the tax base could adversely affect the economy, particularly for SMEs already struggling amidst challenging economic conditions.

As business owners, staying informed about the implications of budget announcements on your business is essential. By understanding the nuances of government policies and expert insights, you can effectively adapt your strategies and mitigate cash flow pitfalls.

Here are some additional insights to help you navigate the coming year with resilience and agility:

  1. Stay on top of regulatory changes: Stay informed about regulatory changes that may impact your business, and work with experts to stay compliant.
  2. Build a robust network: Build a network of industry peers, advisors, and mentors to look for guidance and support when needed.
  3. Focus on customer experience: In today’s hyper-competitive market, providing an exceptional customer experience can set you apart from the competition. Invest in customer service training, technology, and tools to enhance your customer experience.
  4. Embrace technology: Technology can help you streamline your operations, improve productivity and efficiency, and provide better services to your customers. Consider investing in technology solutions that align with your business needs and goals.

The recent budget speech offers both opportunities and challenges. By staying informed, adapting to changes, and investing in your business’s growth and sustainability, you can navigate the evolving economic landscape with resilience, agility, and confidence.


Keep in touch 🙌

Sign up for tips, insights & inspiring stories to help grow your business.

    By signing up, you consent to the processing of your personal information for the purpose of direct marketing by means of electronic communications.