In response to the Chancellor’s 2021 Budget, Kirsty McManus, National Director, Institute of Directors Northern Ireland (IoD NI), said:

“The widely trailed extension to the furlough scheme and other measures will provide a welcome boost to businesses as they seek to build a solid platform from which to recover in the coming months.

“Widening income support for the self-employed is also a step forward, however, many company directors will continue to feel left out in the cold as they fall through the net yet again, ineligible for any COVID support grants.

“The prospect of higher taxes will no doubt be difficult for many firms that are still struggling with diminished balance sheets and while the recovery loan package will offer a helping hand to many firms, more needs to be done to catalyse equity investment in our cash-starved start-ups and scale-ups.”