Commenting ahead of the Mansion House speech being made by the Deputy Prime Minister this evening, John Longworth, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“The Deputy Prime Minister is right to encourage stronger growth in the UK regions. Not only will this help to create a sustainable economy, but it will also stimulate and grow the amazing, innovative and often, world leading businesses which I see week in, week out around the country. There are hundreds of hard-working companies across the UK, who are determined to play their part in exporting and creating local jobs and growth. But with the right support from government to create an environment of enterprise, they can go even further to driving a lasting economic recovery. Businesses tell us they are still facing huge difficulties around the availability of growth finance, sourcing practical help to sell their goods overseas, and finding the right skills that respond to their needs.
“Chambers of Commerce are local, resilient bodies that are pro-active in their communities, and are on hand to support businesses as they drive growth at a local level. But there are some decisions that can be taken nationally, that will immediately inject growth into the regions. Investment in the UK’s road network would boost employment, support local construction and underpin local economies more generally. Direct investment in much-needed new housing would create jobs and benefit a large number of UK-based companies through locally sourced supply chains. And lastly, freezing business rates would help the many companies out there that are trying to cope with the ongoing difficult business conditions they are faced with. It is unacceptable that businesses should face a relentless increase in rates to pay for a freeze in council tax, at a time when businesses need all the support they can get to grow and create jobs.”