To the relief of the UK's smaller (but ambitious) businesses, the Government has secured State Aid approval with regard to Enterprise Management Incentives (EMIs).

The Government has satisfied the Commission that EMIs - which provide a tax break on share options offered by small and medium sized companies to their employees - will play a crucial role in enabling smaller firms to recruit and retain the highly skilled employees they need to thrive, and will therefore improve the economic health of the Community as a whole.

The Government is also widening the eligibility criteria so that companies based in the UK which carry out considerable overseas activity can use EMI to recruit key UK based staff.

The Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Ian Pearson, said:

"This is excellent news for small and medium-sized companies, particularly at a time when their success will be crucial to economic recovery."

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