There has been a mixed response from business organisations to the Chancellor’s Budget statement.
Ann Vandermeulen, development manager for the Federation of Small Businesses in Cornwall said:
“As a result of today’s budget, many Cornish businesses may save some hours in the week because they will be able to use a simpler cash accounting system and some will be pleased that there are moves to simplify planning rules and make them more business friendly.
“No help on fuel duty was a big disappointment to us”
“However they will all still be crying at the petrol pump. No help on fuel duty was a big disappointment to us and with a further rise due later this year, the effect of other measures to help businesses will be diluted by ignoring this elephant in the room.
Another major issue for very small businesses is access to funds and while we are pleased to see some measures it remains to be seen whether some of our Cornish micro businesses will receive any real support .
Gerry Jones, south west chairman of the Institute of Directors, was pleased the Government announced a pilot of the Youth Enterprise Loan scheme.
He said: “Over the last few months we’ve been part of the working group helping to deliver this, and I feel sure it will encourage many young entrepreneurs to establish new businesses.
“This scheme will provide young business-people with a fantastic launch pad, combining an initial cash injection with the know-how and advice to put the funding to good use. There are large numbers of young people out there with great business ideas, and we look forward to helping them turn their ambitions into reality.”
While the Forum of Private Business welcomed several measures on taxation, as steps towards creating a tax system conducive to small business success, it was left wanting more.
But chief executive Phil Orford added: “For the next year or two, when many of these policies kick in – what small businesses and the economy need are confident strides forward now. Largely, that has not happened in this Budget.
“For smaller businesses, things may not feel very different on the ground”
“We saw nothing on reducing the mounting burden of business rates or fuel duty via cuts and a real stabiliser to regulate prices at the pump. These were omissions – and while the Government is working to improve access to funding and bring down banks lending costs by implementing ‘credit easing’ the National Loan Guarantee Scheme, there are concerns that the smallest firms in most need of affordable finance will miss out.”
Angela Knight, chief executive of the British Bankers’ Association, was more enthusiastic. She said: “This was a Budget for business: it was about making it more attractive for businesses to do business here in the UK.
“It was also about giving businesses the confidence to invest in their futures and giving their customers the confidence to spend again. Crucially it underlines the fact that bank finance continues to be available for viable businesses.”
CBI director general, John Cridland, welcomed an extra 1% of corporation tax and also the controversial decision to reduce the top rate of tax to 45p by April 2013
“(That) will show our top and aspiring talent that this Government wants them to create wealth here,” he said.
“With many calls on the Chancellor to spend money he didn’t have, the best news for businesses is that he stuck to his guns and delivered a fiscally neutral programme.
“If businesses were looking for more, it was in the area of deregulation. For smaller businesses, things may not feel very different on the ground. It would have also have been a huge relief if the Chancellor had taken the opportunity to get rid of the currently unworkable Carbon Reduction Commitment.”