Kent bosses gave this week's austerity budget a cautious welcome.
David Philpott, chairman of Kent Institute of Directors, gave it "nine out of 10."
He said it was good news for the county's businesses because it showed that the Coalition Government was serious about tackling the deficit.
"It also sends a clear message to the stock market and the banks - namely that it is the private sector that will lead us out of recession and not increased public spending," he said.
"The freeze on public sector pay and the slashing of most departmental budgets by 25 per cent shows a steely determination to get Britain moving again, as we try as a nation to live within our means."
Mr Philpott was disappointed that infrastructure spending would be halved over the next three years, on balance he thought it an excellent budget - and more than we could realistically hoped for. I give it nine out of 10."
Roger House, chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses Kent and Medway, which has 6,700 members in the county, said: "The measures will go a long way to reducing the deficit and will please the 93 per cent of FSB members who called for a clear plan on tackling the country's debt."