Our CEO’s view: a budget that falls short for business

4 March 2021 | Thoughts and Opinions

Our CEO’s view: a budget that falls short for business

Our CEO and founder Toby Harper believes that the new budget set out by the chancellor will come as a disappointment to many of the ambitious companies Harper James was set up to support:

‘If this budget was supposed to provide the roadmap to economic recovery, many people running businesses will be left confused as to the direction the government is now heading. 

Businesses were crying out for policies that will not only help them survive and recover, but quickly return to growth. Entrepreneurs will feel particularly short-changed by voucher-based schemes and a Help To Grow package which is nowhere near far enough in its level of ambition. 

If the chancellor thinks his plan to give vouchers to get up to 50 per cent off new productivity-enhancing software will provide some kind of a quick fix, he is mistaken. The advent of SaaS businesses means enterprise-grade software is already affordable to smaller businesses. So this feels like a cheap ploy dressed up to look like a huge benefit to businesses. 

There are no quick fixes and recovering from this pandemic will take decades. But the government should have set out policies that proved they are in it for the long haul and put Britain’s army of businesses at the heart of their recovery plan.

Ministers now need to provide leadership and policies which encourage entrepreneurs to invest, rather than divest, so that businesses will be able to plan with much more confidence.

Rather than producing costly promotional videos on the job he has done so far, the chancellor needs to roll up his sleeves and deliver the kind of fiscal support and investment that will help free Britain’s entrepreneurs to rebuild our shattered economy.’

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