The Budget: Entrepreneur reactions

Niall McKinney, founder, UTalkMarketing

“Bearing in mind that it’s businesses which are going to help pull
the country out of the recession, the fact that there’s almost no
support for businesses in the Budget is a pretty poor way of trying to
meet that objective.

“Darling announced a £750m investment fund for technology but in the
grand scheme of things, £750m is not very much. We’ll always have to
ask the question with this government about whether that was
incremental money or whether that was money that was already going to
be spent.

“Darling’s target is obviously very specific. Emerging technologies
and regionally important sectors? To me, that means sectors in regions
that are obviously important to Labour votes.”

John Cheney, chief executive and founder, Workbooks Online

“The Chancellor continues to announce complex schemes to support
small and mid-size companies that make great headlines but we have yet
to see any impact on ground. What seems to happen is that they only
really benefit the 3rd party consultants employed to implement these
schemes rather than those they are supposed to provide for.
 
It’s disappointing not to see more support for small businesses, the
backbone of UK industry. Whilst I welcome the extension of the enhanced
loss relief for small businesses I can’t help thinking the government
has missed a trick in not extending the reach of the Enterprise
Investment Scheme (EIS) to private individuals. It’s clear that banks
have done a poor job of lending to the right people and frankly,
individuals are more likely than banks right now to invest in the right
places to provide a valuable lifeline to small businesses and the
economy.
 
Finally, I can only hope that the Chancellor’s ability to forecast
growth next year is better than his track record in forecasting the
downturn.” 

Christian Arno, co-founder, Lingo24



“I feel quite positive about the Budget to be honest. It recognises
that investing in progressive businesses is the way to get through this
rubbish, which is what you need. There was a lot of talk of investment
in environmental project and emerging tech companies, which is
massively important. We need to move up the value chain as a country
and that will definitely help.

The training and support for young people was also very positive.

As a business, the positive for us is the corporation tax for
companies, being able to claim back on the last three years’ worth of
profits. That should encourage companies that were about to have to
fold to invest back into their businesses.

That step will give us the flexibility to take money out of the
business and reinvest in different ways, which could be great. For
businesses in general, it’ll also encourage reinvestment to filter
through.
It was disappointing there was no mention of business rates, that
could’ve helped, but then for many businesses, it might not have helped
enough anyway.

I also personally think the increase on the top rate tax is completely
reasonable. Overall, the Budget was reasonably positive on some of the
initiatives – now the government just has to make them happen.”

These interviews were previously featured on Smarta.com