Budget is good for business say Norfolk and Suffolk chamber chiefs

File photo dated 06/03/02 of steel at a site near Wolverhampton. George Osborne will make a pitch to

File photo dated 06/03/02 of steel at a site near Wolverhampton. George Osborne will make a pitch to ordinary working people today when he delivers his penultimate Budget before the general election. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday March 19, 2014. See PA BUDGET stories. Photo credit should read: David Jones/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Business leaders acrosss Norfolk and Suffolk declared themselves broadly pleased with today's budget which featured a range of measures to help them boost exports, cut energy prices, and take on more apprentices.

Unveiling a budget for 'makers, doers, and savers' the chancellor promised to help businesses invest by doubling the annual investment allowance to £500,000 until the end of 2015.

He also announced a £20m regional connectivity fund to encourage airlines to start flying new routes from regional airlines.

And he said the government would double investment in a lending scheme aimed at boosting exports, as part of a raft of measures to help business drive economic recovery.

The Chancellor said exports were increasing, but he wanted to spread the Made in Britain mark across the world.

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UK Export Finance will expand its direct lending programme and cut interest rates to provide competitive financing for firms bidding to win overseas contracts.

Reacting to the budget, Caroline Williams CEO Norfolk Chamber, said: 'Our Norfolk business members are feeling quietly confident about the economic future but what they were looking for an acknowledgment from the chancellor that he understood the needs of business in the form of investment and employment.

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'We have been lobbying hard to ensure that the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers was extended and it as good to see that was included, as was our call for an extension of the Annual Investment Allowance.

'Norfolk exporters are beating all records month on month but more businesses need to be encouraged to take that all important step. Support for exports has never been more important'

John Dugmore, chief executive of Suffolk Chamber, said: 'Business wanted and needed a Budget that was geared towards the creation of wealth and jobs. The doubling of lending to those firms who want to export along with the extension for apprenticeship grants, which the Chamber has been calling for, is good news and will make a difference.'

'It is vital though that these supportive mechanisms are put in place without delay and get to firms on the ground as soon as possible,' he added.

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