The BBC News website is tracking a group of small businesses from across the UK to see how they are being affected by the economic downturn.
Here is the immediate reaction of some of them to the chancellor's pre-Budget report.
JAMES STEWART, CLOCKMAKER, ARMAGH, N. IRELAND
"The cut in VAT is a good thing for some businesses, but it is a very, very small difference really.
I don't think it will push people out to spend money.
However, it may create a bit of positivity, and that is what we need more of.
If it creates a feel good factor, that would certainly be a welcome injection.
The government, CBI, Bank of England, and even the BBC, have all been promoting doom and gloom recently. Hopefully this pre-Budget report will create some positivity."
MARK STIMPSON, BPL SOLICITORS, DORCHESTER
"The first things that immediately leaps out is the ability to spread our tax payments.
As we are currently facing a VAT bill that has to be paid by the end of this week, that is encouraging.
The chancellor has obviously listened. That will be of immediate help.
The other one that looks good is the small firms credit guarantee schemes.
On the face of it, I'm quite encouraged.
The fuel tax increase is a bit of a surprise, but with fuel prices going down, that is understandable."
LEO WHITE, HYDRANT DESIGN, CUMBRIA
"I have mixed views generally.
Obviously anything that is an attempt to stimulate consumer spending - such as the cut in VAT - is good for us. Whether the changes have gone far enough though is another thing.
For us as a small firm, the more relaxed timetable on tax payments is a good thing, and will help with cash flow issues."