Reaction to the budget from Dorchester, Dorset and British Chambers of Commerce.
Dorchester Chamber for Business President Peter Greenaway said:
“Very pleased to see a budget which will support business through the continuing lock down and assist with a return to more normality as restrictions start to be relaxed for both business and individuals, and xcellent news as well that growth forecasts are looking positive in the future and that the OBR are expecting a faster recovery than had been originally anticipated
“An extension to support for self employed people is particularly welcome as is the continuation of the Furlough scheme for employees until the early autumn enabling businesses to plan and support a return over a longer time period than the anticipated lock down, particularly for the South West area, support for hospitality and tourism is very welcome which we hope will give an excellent boost to the local economy with an increase in visitor numbers in the summer months boosting earnings for the region
“We are arranging a virtual meeting for later in the month to discuss how the Local Authority and the Chamber can provide support for you – details will follow as soon as the details have been finalised.
Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said:
“There’s much to welcome in this bounceback Budget and it shows that the Chancellor has listened to business.
“Its business-friendly measures will stoke confidence, create greater clarity about the way forward and give hope for economic recovery as lockdown eases.
“The extension of the furlough scheme and support for the self-employed, apprenticeship incentives and restart grants will be welcomed by many business in Dorset.
“Measures to support retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism – including business rates and VAT breaks – will give firms in the county a fighting chance to restart and rebuild.
“Some tax rises were inevitable yet the increase in Corporation Tax has been tempered by lower rates for the smallest firms and a new ‘super deduction’ investment allowance.
“It was incredibly disappointing to see Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch miss out on a freeport but we stand ready to seize any similar opportunities in future.
“I hope the fiscal firepower deployed by the Chancellor will now give businesses in Dorset the confidence to plan ahead with greater certainty as they begin to rebuild over the coming months.”
Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“There’s much to welcome in this Budget for business communities across the UK. The Chancellor has listened and acted on our calls for immediate support to help struggling businesses reach the finish line of this gruelling marathon and to begin their recovery. Extensions to furlough, business rates relief and VAT reductions give firms a fighting chance not only to restart, but also to rebuild.
“We particularly welcome the massive ‘superdeduction’ investment incentive that the Chancellor has put in place for the next two years. This responds directly to our call to encourage those businesses, that can, to invest and grow.
“While no business will relish paying higher rates of Corporation Tax in future, the impact of the Chancellor’s tough decision is blunted by the big new incentives for investment, lower rates for the smallest firms, and the extension of Coronavirus support measures in the short term.
“This Budget provides reassurance to businesses, provided that they are able to restart and rebuild according to the Government’s road map. If firms face unexpected bumps in the road, the Chancellor must be prepared to take action until the economy is firing on all cylinders again.”