I was in a M.A. program in Economics, so here's my thoughts on the issue:
I suspect an M.A. in Economics is a decent background for business, though you'd likely be better off doing an MBA (which, unfortunately would also cost quite a bit more) or a more specalized program if one is available, like an MA in Financial Modelling.
If you don't have a strong technical background, then an M.A. in Economics is an excellent stepping stone to doing a Ph.D. I don't know if it will get you into more schools, but it will give you the tools and experience to help you survive a Ph.D. program. Plus you'll also learn if academic research is right for you, without comitting 4-6 years to a program. Before I started my M.A., I had a joint double-major Economics and Political Science degree. This wouldn't have prepared me at all for the technical difficulty of a high level Economics Ph.D. program like Rochester - I wouldn't have lasted more than a few months. However, if my background were, say, a joint double-major in Math-Applied Math, then the M.A. likely would have been a waste of time.
I hope that helps! I'd love to hear other people's experiences. Please send them along!