Business groups applauded measures in the proposed federal budget to increase access to credit and cut taxes. Finance Minister Jim Flaherty pledged to make up to $200 billion in liquidity and financing available to Canadian businesses through a variety of government measures.

Under the plan, Ottawa would provide businesses with access to additional financing of $13 billion through financial Crown corporations.

Agencies such as the Export Development Corporation and the Business Development Bank of Canada would have greater lending powers. A portion of the funds, about $5 billion, will be provided through the new Business Credit Availability Program.