BUDGET 2011: Full review and what it means for small businesses

The Entrepreneurs...

Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers:

"I've been going on about this for years and finally things are starting to turn our way. The Budget announced 24 new technical colleges for the training of apprentices and other non university type careers, this is huge.

"There was also a commitment to provide 250,000 more apprenticeships over the next 4 years; this is what the country desperately needs. The chancellor mentioned the Wolf report into vocational training of young people, and how he was going to follow the recommendations it made, so I'm hoping and praying that he's read the part where the professor says that employers should be subsidised so as they can take on all these new young trades people!

"That aside this is a tremendous change of emphasis compared to Labour's insistence that everyone go to university no matter that there are no jobs for all the graduates."

Simon Schneider, CEO of OmniCompete, an online competition site for start-ups.

"The Chancellor promised us a 'Budget for growth' and while there are certainly some positive initiatives, there is still a long way to go to help the UK's start-ups and entrepreneurs.

"Whilst we applaud the announcement of 'Start-up Britain,' enterprise zones, tax simplification, R&D tax credits and a cut in regulation - all of which will certainly go some way to help this and the next generation of British entrepreneurs - this is just the first step on a long road. There is more to be done and now is the time to turn this aspirational budget into action."

Daniel Priestly, entrepreneur and founder of Triumphant Events:

"Dropping Corporation Tax to 23% is a big incentive for solo-preneurs to begin to think bigger. Businesses that are ready to grow up will be able to return some extra money back to growth. I hope some small businesses will also use this extra 4% to pay themselves. Small businesses typically pay everyone else first and themselves last.

"Setting Entrepreneur Relief from £5m to £10m allows entrepreneurs to aspire towards a large exit. The top 10% are controlling close to 80% of the wealth. It used to be the top 20% but now it's the top 10% of key people. With a healthier SME community we can set right the unfair distribution."

The Experts...

John Walker, national chairman, Federation of Small Businesses:

 

"The Chancellor has said that this Budget would be a 'Budget for Growth' and in part that is what we have - however, there are vital components missing for small firms to create jobs.

"We are pleased that the Chancellor has introduced a fuel duty stabiliser, has committed to cutting fuel duty and has introduced 21 new Enterprise Zones. This will provide much needed stability for struggling small businesses.

"The Government has committed to cutting red tape, but we believe new employment laws will still come into force in this year, which could hinder businesses from taking on staff. The biggest opportunity missing from this Budget is by not extending the National Insurance Contributions holiday nationwide to existing businesses, which would really have provided incentives for small firms to take on more staff."

 

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PriceWaterhouseCoopers:

"The Budget forecasts for GDP growth in 2011 are somewhat lower than in its November forecast, but still more optimistic than our own view in the medium term.

"We think that domestic demand growth will be constrained by public spending cuts, tax and price rises, a weak housing market, high debt levels and fragile consumer confidence. Although manufacturing exports have risen strongly in recent months, the international environment remains unstable following recent unrest in the Middle East and the tragic events in Japan. The UK's key export markets in Europe also continue to grow at a sluggish pace. "

Rakesh Shaunak, london chairman for accountancy firm MacIntyre Hudson:

"The changes to Enterprise Investment Scheme, R&D tax credits for small businesses and the extension of Entrepreneurs' Relief to £10 million all sound like joined up thinking for smaller, entrepreneurial companies.

"The Plan for Growth offers some very useful access to finance measures for small businesses. We need more detail on how the proposed Business Angel Co-Investment Fund and the £2.5 billion Business Growth Fund will operate but it does seem to be a measure to help those small businesses with the best potential for growth.

"Reducing Corporation Tax combined with removing charges for foreign investment in UK businesses do seem as if they will help Britain to become a more competitive place to do business.

"We're delighted to see that the Time to Pay scheme is continuing and that UK Trade & Investment will be offering more support to small businesses who want to export. Increasing numbers of our clients are looking to expand their business that way, so this is a very welcome measure."

Here is our comprehensive guide to the Budget for small businesses

Read the full transcript of George Osborne's Budget speech

Check out what the Smarta webchat panel had to say about Osborne's Budget announcements

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