Firms are facing a "survival of the fittest" after chancellor Jeremy Hunt reversed much of the mini-budget, a business owner has warned.

In a hastily arranged announcement designed to calm the markets, Mr Hunt reversed all the pledges his predecessor made except the scrapping of the national insurance hike and rising the stamp duty threshold.

This sees income tax remain at 20pc, along with the abolishing of VAT-free shopping for oversees visitors.

The freeze on alcohol duty was also removed and the energy price cap guarantee for households shortened to six months.

Steve Magnall, co-owner of Two Magpies Bakery, which has cafes across Norfolk and Suffolk, said: "With this reversal the government is offering no support whatsoever for small and medium businesses.

Eastern Daily Press: Steve Magnall, co-owner of Two Magpies BakerySteve Magnall, co-owner of Two Magpies Bakery (Image: Two Magpies Bakery)

"I understand that he has to balance the books but no business has created this issue.

"We employ hundreds of staff and the ending of the energy help early means it is getting harder and harder for everybody.

"For many businesses it will be survival of the fittest."

Richard Ross, director of financial advisors Chadwicks, said that it has been a "hugely costly episode for everyone in the country, particularly those who can least afford it" but added that "at last we have an adult in charge" now.

Eastern Daily Press: Richard Ross, director of ChadwicksRichard Ross, director of Chadwicks (Image: Chadwicks)

"From austerity, through the referendum and Johnson’s hard Bexit and culminating in Kwarteng’s ditching of economic orthodoxy we have suffered an increasingly damaging series of decisions that have been based on political dogma and electoral expediency rather than the long term interests of the country," said Mr Ross.

"We have seen our economy shrink from being 90pc the size of Germany’s at the time of the Brexit vote to less than 70pc now.

"We should be thankful that the markets said ‘enough is enough’.

"Hopefully the arrival of Mr Hunt will see a return to some degree of stability and a period where we are led by adults rather than clowns masquerading as grown-ups."

Prior to Mr Hunt's announcement, the government had already revealed that it was no longer slashing the top rate of income tax and U-turned on its plan to keep corporation tax at 19pc.

Eastern Daily Press: Kevin Bunting, managing partner at Lovewell BlakeKevin Bunting, managing partner at Lovewell Blake (Image: Newman Associates PR)

“In reality, many businesses will already have ‘priced in’ the rise in corporation tax long before Kwasi Kwarteng’s ‘mini-Budget’ just three weeks ago," said Kevin Bunting, from financial advisors Lovewell Blake.

"So the decision to go ahead with the increase to 25pc shouldn’t significantly change the day to day landscape for business, although it might impact on those seeking overseas investment because a low corporate rate can be a tempting carrot."

Claudia Roberts from Zoological Society of East Anglia, the charity that runs Banham Zoological Gardens and Africa Alive Zoological Reserve, said that it has seen a £500,000 increase in its energy bills and is calling on the government to provide more support to help businesses survive.

Eastern Daily Press: Claudia Roberts CEO of the charity that runs Banham Zoo and Africa AliveClaudia Roberts CEO of the charity that runs Banham Zoo and Africa Alive (Image: (C) 2017 Simply C Photography)

She said: “The cost of energy is our killer right now.

"While the government have introduced a welcome cap to energy bills, we urge them to also cap supplier charges, which have skyrocketed.

“We need the energy price to be guaranteed at no more than 20pc of previous years, not 100pc more – this cap must be the total charge not just the energy cost, as suppliers are now inflating the on-costs which mean the cap is only capping 40pc of the cost.

“We will look to diversify our ways of driving income, but we also have the cost of living impacting our income line.

"The return of packages such as the 'Eat Out to Help Out' would help drive the economy.

“Charities will need support to survive.

"Forget growth in a climate where the government doesn’t even support survival.”

To help small and medium businesses in the region, Mr Magnall said that it would have been helpful if the government cut VAT.

"It would also be good if he looked at business rates," he added.

"They keep kicking that can down the road, as it was first raised when David Cameron was prime minister but nothing has been done about it."