Sir, The pragmatic approach taken by the Chancellor to shoring up small business and the National Loan Guarantee Scheme cannot come too soon (‘Right direction or missing the point?’, 3 December). Just this week I was talking to a small independent retailer whose bank has tightened up their terms and in so doing rendered the business unprofitable. I hasten to add that this is a smart and well-run business.

Yet while all the initiatives are welcome, there will be a significant lag in increased spending by consumers, caused by a continued and increasing rate of unemployment and the pace at which GVA is driven by infrastructure projects.

Having said this, doing nothing is not an option and those of us that run larger enterprises (and the banks) should work fairly with smaller businesses in order to grow the SME sector that provides the bulk of economic activity in the UK. The benefit? Innovation and diversity - the one thing that your publication and the multiples have been requesting for so long!

Edwin J Booth, chairman, Booths