Budget 2011: Entrepreneurs’ reactions

UK business owners have their say on Osborne’s second Budget

In general, this year’s Budget has been well received by the business and entrepreneurial community. You can read the full round-up of relevant Budget details here, but below we’ve put together some comment from UK entrepreneurs on what they were pleased with, and what they were disappointed not to see.

Charlie Mullins, founder of Pimlico Plumbers:“This was a budget of petrol, potholes and private enterprise that puts small and medium sized businesses at the heart of the recovery.  It has placed tools in the hands of entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses. Business owners have listen to George Osborne’s starter’s pistol and start the marathon towards private sector-led economic growth. Taking the first steps to merge Income Tax and National Insurance demonstrates that red tape can be cut, which may put some of the pencil pushers out of work, but will keep the rest of us in business.”

Jamie Waller, founder of JBW: “George Osborne has put fuel back into Britain’s economy and was truly business focused. I believe that Mr Osborne was totally small and medium sized business focused, which will deliver excellent results for Briton and the people that we employ.  I do now believe that “Britain is open for business” and I am going to take full advantage of it.

“I have, however, huge concerns over Mr Osborne’s proposed Green Bank. The government loaning money to projects of high risk will end disastrously. When it all goes wrong, which it will, we will all end up paying with an increase in the very things that have just been cut, such as corporation tax. This is a Northern Rock situation and you would have thought the government would have learnt.”

Simon Schneider, chief executive of OmniCompete:“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.”

Michael Phillips, founder of Consumerchoices:“We welcome the cut in corporation tax at Consumerchoices, and are pleased the Budget has delivered more than we were expecting. However, why not cut the whole lot now? From a small business point of view this would help our position, which is important for the UK economy.  We aren’t really in the small business category anymore and when you fall into the in between stage there is nothing in place to help business with high growth. I think extra classification or recognition is needed.”

Celia Donne, regional director at Regus: “The freeze in Air Passenger Duty isn’t just good news for British holidaymakers, it is also a very welcome move for business travellers. A rising proportion of firms are trading overseas, with particular growth coming from the small, entrepreneurial sector taking advantage of improved access to international markets. Low cost air travel is a vital enabler of overseas expansion and British firms’ competitiveness in today’s global business environment.”

Nicko Williamson, founder of Climatecars: “Overall the budget seems positive, as Mr Osborne is signalling to the world that the UK is going to be a more competitive place to do business. From the perspective of my business, Climatecars, the cuts in fuel duty by 1p and postponement of the 4p increase in April will help our drivers who are feeling the effects of the oil price rises.

“My main disappointment with the budget is the 50% top rate of tax, which I think the UK needs to stop as soon as possible. Understandably the deficit remains high and therefore this is a necessary short-term measure, however I would like to see it go – being that it is a deterrent to top talent who can choose which country they want to live and work in.”

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