Saurav Chopra, CEO of Huddlebuy
"The sun is not shining on the economy but a National Insurance holiday for businesses employing young people could have spread a much-needed ray of hope. But now there are more dark times ahead for job prospects."
"The plans for a £1bn business bank is welcome. But enough of the talking. Businesses need action and help now or it will be too late for so many of them."
"Economic growth is seriously bad and we need to get far more serious about helping businesses and entrepreneurs. When you speak to small business Government efforts are seen as a bit of a joke."
Mark Pearson, Founder and Chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk
"What a pleasant surprise, the Government actually giving a small piece of good news to businesses. Yes, the 1% cut in corporation tax is a nice step towards helping businesses in the UK grow, but is it impressive? Not really. It's a small step in the right direction, but if they truly want to help businesses here grow, they need to guarantee more consistent access to funding instead of re-hashing old policies."
Jason Yeomans, Managing Director, PMGC
"I welcome the Business Bank initiative but as with all these initiatives the key will be ensuring that funding actually gets to those who need it. My experience so far of these types of schemes is that whilst they operate with good intentions the people who are put in place to run them are often from an institutional investment background which means that their attitude to risk is somewhat different to that of an entrepreneur, meaning it can be hard to secure approval for funding."
John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce
"The Chancellor has taken a number of very positive steps, despite being constrained by politics, budgets, and Whitehall inertia. Business will cheer his announcement of major new capital allowances to encourage investment by small- and medium-sized companies, as well as his move to shift money from current spending towards the infrastructure needed for growth.
"However, the government is still tinkering around the edges. The Budget next March must make truly radical and large-scale choices that support long-term growth and wealth creation. That means reconsidering the 'sacred cows' of the political class, including overseas aid and the gargantuan scale of the welfare state.
Gary Wilkinson, CEO at Cambridge & Counties Bank
"While the 'funding for lending' scheme, the new British Business Bank and today's announcement of a cut in corporation tax show that the Government is being proactive in the SME space, there needs to be better co-ordination of such initiatives. At first sight it is difficult to see how these measures will significantly increase the availability or suitability of credit for SMEs, particularly in the near term. Further details are required about exactly how the new Business Bank will 'partner' with existing banks and other lenders.
Florian Richter, Director of SumUp UK
"The few small merchants able to take time off from keeping their businesses afloat to watch the Chancellor's speech will have turned off their sets and closed their browsers with a familiar sense of disappointment this afternoon. While it is great that the Government is making inroads by cutting business tax and extending the small business rate relief to April 2014, the reality is that growth forecast is expected to shrink and little of the relief being offered by the Government in the aftermath of the double-dip recession will benefit small, independent, businesses."