Chancellor Sajid Javid needs to prioritise investing in startups and scaleups in his Spring Budget next month, influential business leaders have said.

The call comes from the Institute of Directors (IoD) ahead of the first fiscal announcement of the year on 11 March 2020.

This could be delivered through targeted reliefs and extra incentives for companies outside of London and the South-East.

To help smaller firms seize upon trading opportunities, Javid should introduce Brexit planning vouchers and a new single window for imports and exports.

A business rates holiday for firms seeking to improve or expand their premises should also be introduced, while the extension of IR35 into the private sector should be delayed.

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the IoD, said:

"Boosting investment in new and growing firms is key, as is ensuring they have the skills they need to thrive.

"The other side of the coin for business is cost. Sky-high business rates, hefty regulation, and the wider complexity of the tax system are some of the biggest thorns in the side of growing companies.

"Action from the Treasury to clear the path for businesses to grow will provide a vital uplift to the economy."

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