2020 Budget - the business reaction

11 Mar 2020

Business groups have responded to Chancellor Rishi Sunak's 2020 Budget speech.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) welcomed the measures outlined in the Budget, labelling it a 'pro-small business Budget' which 'delivered on Conservative manifesto promises and emergency steps to support firms through the coronavirus outbreak'.

Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, added: 'The sensible compromise on Entrepreneurs' Relief is one that we have proposed and championed, and everyday entrepreneurs will be pleased to hear the Chancellor say that he has listened to the FSB on this.

'This has been a deliberately pro-small business first Budget for the Chancellor. We hope it is the start of things to come.'

Meanwhile, the Institute of Directors (IoD) praised the 'box-office Budget'. Jonathan Geldart, Director General of the IoD, commented: 'Given the circumstances, the Chancellor had to be bold, and he came through for business.

'With the coronavirus outbreak threatening a cashflow crunch, measures to cut costs and support loans to businesses are on the money. Wider reliefs around business rates and job taxes will also buoy firms as they look to weather Covid-19's implications.'

Additionally, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) applauded the measures announced by the Chancellor. Rain Newton-Smith, Chief Economist at the CBI, said: 'Business will be happy with a lot of what they heard . . . from Rishi Sunak, both on the challenges of today and the long-term investment our country needs for the opportunities of tomorrow.'

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) commended the measures announced to tackle the coronavirus. Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, stated: 'Much to welcome for UK business communities in the 2020 Budget. Pragmatic support on coronavirus, increased investment in infrastructure, sharper incentives for business investment. The BCC will now be looking at the detail and to the Spending Review ahead.'

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