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This Is Our Message to Whoever Gets Into Power on 4th July

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 20 Jun 2024

Nobody has a crystal ball, and the outcome of the forthcoming General Election is far from certain.

But whichever party gets into power, it will make no difference to the five-point election action plan that the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) - of which we at Bedfordshire Chamber are a member - is calling on the post 4th July Government, of whatever hue, to deliver against.

Here’s how that plan fights your business’s corner in Westminster.

Point 1 – Doing greener business

Our action plan stipulates that the Government of the day must develop and support an industrial strategy with green innovation at its heart – not just on the periphery.

Deeper business and Government partnerships, further climate change policy development, improvements to the planning system, and grid upgrades, are must-haves if the UK is to be able to do greener business viably.

Point 2 - The right people, the right skills

Some 66% of UK firms face difficulties when attempting to recruit, and this is why, in our action plan, we are fighting for increased Government investment in skills.

A Government local business support service, long-term commitment to the LSIP (Local Skills Improvement Plan) scheme, tax breaks, and a prestigious kitemark for companies investing in training are just some of  the deliverables we want from the next Government.

Point 3 – Supporting what’s local

In our plan, we argue that, post 4th July, the Government in power must take urgent measures to give local communities the additional support they need to work, live, thrive, and generate wealth.

This includes reforming business rates to reduce costs and to incentivise growth and creating local business support bodies with more autonomy over local policy, planning, and investment.

It also covers integrating business membership organisations into these structures to share and debate community strategy and decision-making with business audiences.

Tax breaks and much-simplified sources of funding are also key to our recommendations.

Point 4 – Doing business globally

Export and global trade represent a huge and often untapped opportunity for many UK businesses.

This is why our plan argues for improved relations with the EU - our largest trading partner - and reduction of the costs involved in doing business with them.

We also urge the post-4th July Government to work in partnership with the UK’s world-class logistics sector to ensure goods reach their markets efficiently, to up the tempo on trade agreements, and to make funding more accessible, to prevent ‘capital flight’ to other countries. 

Point 5 – Leading digital change

Emerging technologies such as Artificial intelligence (AI) present significant opportunities for businesses across the UK to operate more productively and gain competitive advantages – but many businesses just aren’t engaging with it.

Accordingly, our plan speaks to the urgent need for the improved broadband availability and access necessary to underpin uptake of these technologies.

We’re recommending that the Government appoints an AI champion specifically for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

We’re also urging it to develop underground infrastructure and deliver nationwide, full-fibre broadband that could boost UK productivity by £72 billion.

Standing up for business in Westminster

As BCC’s Director General, Shevaun Haviland, puts it, “We believe our 5-point plan creates an immediate pathway for a new government, of whatever party, to help businesses succeed. When business succeeds, the country succeeds.” 

Now what business owner wouldn’t vote for that?

For more information on how to join Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, visit, or call our friendly team on 01582 522448.

Topics: Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce, election

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