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As the Budget sinks in, what does business think?

Did the Budget answer the big question of how the economy can get going?

Now the myriad of measures has had time to sink in, here is the full gamut of reactionfrom the UK's business groups, big and small.

In sum, they have a lot to be pleased about, and the measures have been widely welcomed, but they don't want the government to think it's 'job done'.

As John Cridland, the leader of the CBI, put it to me earlier, we are starting to see a "nudge towards a plan for growth".

Nearly two years into the coalition, some feel it's taken rather too long.

Businesses, especially smaller ones, will be disappointed that the Chancellor did not do more to cut red tape. There needs to be much greater urgency to the Government’s deregulatory agenda. We must bring down the barriers to companies hiring staff and creating new jobs.

The Chancellor has also painted a clearer vision of how the UK will earn its living in the future and, by seizing the opportunity to make sure our corporate tax system is more internationally competitive, he has sent a powerful signal to companies to invest, do business and create jobs in the UK.

– CBI

The Chancellor’s commitments to contain the deficit and reduce corporation tax will be welcomed warmly by business. However, many small and medium-sized companies will feel the measures overwhelmingly benefit the biggest businesses. Smaller firms will be disappointed George Osborne did not do more to support confidence and growth in the real economy.

– British Chambers of Commerce

"This recovery is all about jobs," entrepreneur James Caan told ITV News, "and I think there were a number of ingredients in this menu today that focus very specifically on that."

We asked for a Budget with long-term measures to help to instil confidence, rather than a barrage of micro-measures that have a limited impact on the ground. We are pleased with some of the actions to cut the burden of red tape, help to get our young workers into employment, and measures to improve access to finance. Especially welcome are the proposals to simplify the tax system for the country’s smallest companies. However, petrol prices remain a major concern for small businesses and we would have liked some further action on reducing the level of fuel duty to help struggling small firms.

– Federation of Small Business

"We don't think that the outlook for the economy or for the government's finances is very different from the picture we painted in November of last year," says Robert Chote, chair of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

"That's because people are still dealing with their debts, and the availability of credit to businesses is not as good as it could be."

The overall verdict is that there have been some tentative steps in the right direction, and perhaps the beginnings of a road map for the future – but for the next year or two, when many of these policies kick in - what small businesses and the economy need are confident strides forward now. Largely, that has not happened in this Budget.

– Forum of Private Business

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