We were told it will be cheaper for small business to borrow from banks through the National Loans Guarantee Scheme and easier for them to hire staff thanks to the National Insurance holiday. So should we be happy? Or is the rising unemployment and lack of growth that's crippling the country requires more from George Osborne? Here, small business owners and entrepreneurs give us their view.
"This could be the watershed moment the UK economy has been crying out for. Cameron has said that he wants the next Facebook to come from the UK, and it's finally looking like they're doing something about actually helping this to happen.
"Our economy's future relies on the bright ideas of the young people of today, and it's fantastic news that they're actually going to be given a helping hand."
"If the Chancellor really supports small businesses he should have put his money where his mouth is. The huge 5.6% rise in business rates next month will cost businesses up and down the country billions of pounds. How is this fair and supportive to business?
"Corporation tax cuts do nothing to help the millions of smaller companies that are struggling to survive. How is this going to help them invest more money back into their businesses and jobs?"
"The chancellor claims to unashamedly back business. He should be ashamed of himself for not doing more to help businesses with soaring fuel costs."
"Few parts of the budget smacked of such naked tokenism as the new top rate of stamp duty. The extra tax revenues generated by the new 7% rate will be small, given that these super-prime homes are such a small proportion of the market.
"It may be a clever wheeze to mitigate the political fallout from the abolition of the 50p tax rate. But ultimately this ill-thought-out measure is just another tax on aspiration, and a levy on success.
"While we welcome the Government's promises for administrative savings for small businesses and the National Loan Guarantee
Scheme (NLGS) announced to support small business lending from banks, it is clear SME leaders have continually failed to access the levels of finance expected from our biggest institutions.
"borro research found that a quarter of SME owners (24 per cent) say they have missed out on a growth opportunity due to a lack of accessible finance, while one in ten have considered closing their business because of the inability to raise cash. Little wonder then that people are increasingly seeking viable alternatives for small business lending.
There is no doubt that in these post-recession / post-credit crunch years, SMEs have felt the brunt of economic instability and business challenges. The government's rhetoric regarding its support of UK small businesses has always been strong, with David Cameron stating that SMEs lie at the heart of the UK recovery. With today's budget, The Chancellor has unveiled a number of initiatives which will hopefully give genuine support to the country's SMEs.
"This budget unashamedly backs business" was how the chancellor began and, yes, you can't argue with cost-cutting measures like a reduction in corporation tax. However, some of the decisions intended for small businesses will only be of benefit to those who help themselves. The extra support that UKTI has pledged to double our exports, for example, won't land in your lap all by itself. 'If you don't ask...' also applies to taking advantage of the Capital Allowance Scheme and, likewise, the National Loan Guarantee Scheme will require a level of engagement from any business seeking finance. The trouble with any cost-cutting measure is that the outcome has to be worth the effort and, when small businesses are short of time as it is, they'll have to weigh-up what's practical to go after.
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