ENTREPRENEUR Philip Harris has said the Budget was a positive announcement from a confident Chancellor which contained measures that would help small firms cope with the impact of coronavirus.

However, he felt the Budget would have limited long term impact on the Vert Rotors compressor business he runs.

Edinburgh-based Vert develops sophisticated compressors it reckons are more efficient and much quieter than the norm and sells them to firms working in areas such as fibre optic network installation.

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The company has 15 skilled employees and Mr Harris hoped the Budget would include measures that would increase the amount of cash it could invest in product development.

“Anything that helps us employ people would be most welcome,” he said in advance of the speech.

After the event, Mr Harris said the Chancellor’s pledge to cover the Statutory Sick Pay costs of small and medium sized enterprises for employees impacted by coronavirus, for up to 14 days, could provide valuable relief for the SMEs affected.

He felt the proposal to give firms more time to settle their tax bills could also help.

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Mr Harris liked the sound of the proposal to pay cash grants of up to £3,000 to some small businesses but it was not clear yesterday if that would apply to firms in Scotland.

In terms of measures that are intended to have longer term influence, he welcomed the Chancellor’s decision to increase the annual employment allowance to £4,000 from £3,000.

But he would have been happier if the Chancellor had made it more affordable for firms to buy equipment rather than raising allowances for investment in buildings.

Mr Harris was disappointed the Chancellor slashed the tax relief enjoyed by investors when firms are sold. The change could deter people from starting firms, while prompting some entrepreneurs to sell up.