Chancellor George Osborne had little room to manouevre in the budget - what can you do when the coffers are empty? However there were some positive signs for local businesses. There is a cut in National Insurance contributions of £2,000 which effectively means that an employer can take on one or more people and pay wages of upto £22,400 without the extra burden of NI.
The government's start-up loans scheme has increased the age limit from 24 to 30 and for applicants as well as increasing the pot to £117m.
To stimulate grass roots enterprise, anyone investing a capital gain in a small business in 2013/14 will not pay capital gains tax, upto a maximum of £100,000.
Frank McKenna of Downtown Business says such measures are welcome but overall strategy still questionable.
But there's always the penny off a pint. I'll drink to that!