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Chamber NewsUK economy suffered record slump between April and June

UK economy suffered record slump between April and June

The UK economy suffered its biggest slump on record between April and June, shrinking 20.4% compared with the first three months of the year as Coronavirus lockdown measures hit. Household spending plunged as shops were ordered to close, while factory and construction output also fell, pushing the UK into its first technical recession - defined as two consecutive quarters of economic decline - si...

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Chamber NewsBCC calls for more business support after employment falls by largest amount in a decade

BCC calls for more business support after employment falls by largest amount in a decade

Employment in the UK fell by the largest amount in over a decade between April and June, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics. It was the largest quarterly decrease since May to July 2009, with the youngest workers, oldest workers and those in manual occupations were the worst hit during the pandemic, the ONS added. The UK unemployment rate was estimated at 3.9...

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Chamber NewsSummer Statement schemes fall short in protecting firms and jobs

Summer Statement schemes fall short in protecting firms and jobs

Results from the latest British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Coronavirus Business Tracker reveal that businesses are still facing significant cashflow challenges with the schemes announced in the Summer Statement failing to provide support at the scale needed to protect jobs after the furlough scheme winds down: More than half of firms report cashflow decrease since June 2020, more than a thir...

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Chamber NewsSomerset Chamber welcomes Truespeed as a Business Partner

Somerset Chamber welcomes Truespeed as a Business Partner

Leading edge ultrafast, full fibre broadband provider Truespeed has joined Somerset Chamber as a Business Partner. Winner of the Best Rural ISP 2019 award from the Internet Service Provider Association, Truespeed is building a brand new network that removes frustration such as buffering, drops and slow speeds at peak times to give the South West a future-proofed broadband solution. Unlike other ...

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Chamber NewsBCC responds to 'hammer blow' of short notice restrictions

BCC responds to 'hammer blow' of short notice restrictions

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s announcement that the Government will introduce new local restrictions and postpone the planned re-opening for some business from August 1, BCC Co-Executive Director Claire Walker, said: “While tackling the public health emergency must be the priority, these announcements - made at short notice - will be a hammer blow to business and consumer confidence at a...

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Chamber NewsBusinesses encouraged to apply for a Queen's Award for Enterprise

Businesses encouraged to apply for a Queen's Award for Enterprise

Somerset businesses are being encouraged to set the standard by applying for a Queen’s Award for Enterprise. The awards are given annually for outstanding achievement by UK businesses in the categories of:Innovation International trade Sustainable development Promoting opportunity through social mobilityThe online application process is quick and simple to follow and those who wi...

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Chamber NewsGovernment calls for evidence to shape business rates review

Government calls for evidence to shape business rates review

The Government is calling for evidence from businesses to form the basis of an upcoming business rates review. Ministers are seeking responses in two phases – firstly, views on the multiplier and reliefs by September 18, to inform an interim report in the Autumn. Secondly, responses on all other sections by October 31, ahead of the review’s conclusion in Spring 2021. Full details of the Gove...

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Chamber NewsRestart of the UK economy “still in first gear” with businesses operating at just half of normal capacity

Restart of the UK economy “still in first gear” with businesses operating at just half of normal capacity

Results from the latest British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker, in partnership with job site Indeed, reveal that businesses are operating at half of their pre-COVID-19 capacity on average, despite lockdown measures easing. More than half cited reduced demand and possible future lockdowns as major obstacles to restarting day-to-day operations.On average, busine...

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Chamber NewsBCC responds to Prime Minister’s speech setting out next steps in Coronavirus response

BCC responds to Prime Minister’s speech setting out next steps in Coronavirus response

Commenting on the Prime Minister’s speech today (17 July), setting out the next steps in England’s Coronavirus response, BCC Director General Adam Marshall said: On new guidance for returning to the workplace: “Companies, in discussion with their employees, will decide how and when to return to offices safely. To take those decisions, businesses need crystal-clear official guidance. “F...

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Chamber NewsSurvey finds almost a third of firms plan to decrease workforce in next three months

Survey finds almost a third of firms plan to decrease workforce in next three months

Results from the BCC’s Quarterly Recruitment Outlook, in partnership with Totaljobs, reveal the impact Coronavirus has had on the jobs market, with the two organisations calling for further action from Government to protect businesses and jobs.  29% of businesses expect to decrease the size of their workforce in the next three months 28% decreased size of workforce in Q2 but 66% kept th...

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Chamber NewsUK economy still in the doldrums, growing just 1.8% in May, according to ONS

UK economy still in the doldrums, growing just 1.8% in May, according to ONS

The UK's economy rebounded more slowly than expected in May, growing just 1.8% from the previous month, according to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). As a result of big contractions in previous months, the UK economy is now 24.5% smaller than it was in February. The increase comes after a fall of 6.9% in March and a record 20.4% decline in April as a result of lo...

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Chamber NewsBusinesses should take action now ahead of new border controls being introduced next year

Businesses should take action now ahead of new border controls being introduced next year

Businesses have been advised to take action now to make sure they are ready when new border controls are introduced from January 1, 2021, for goods moving from the UK to the EU. The new border controls will be introduced in three stages up until July 1, 2021, with the first tranche will take effect in January next year. The stages are:From January 2021- traders importing standard goods, cov...

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Chamber NewsHMRC invites hospitality industry to register for Eat Out to Help Out

HMRC invites hospitality industry to register for Eat Out to Help Out

Restaurants and other establishments serving food for on premises consumption can now sign-up to a new Government initiative aimed at protecting jobs in the hospitality industry and encouraging people to safely return to dining out. The Eat Out to Help Out registration page went live this morning on GOV.UK, allowing businesses to join the scheme announced last week by Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor o...

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Chamber NewsChancellor unveils measures to boost economy in Summer Statement

Chancellor unveils measures to boost economy in Summer Statement

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a package of measures designed to boost the economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. His Summer Statement today (Wednesday) included:A new £2bn scheme to create thousands of job placements for young people, known as the Kickstart Scheme. A temporary change to stamp duty - immediately increasing the threshold to £500,000 and exempting all prop...

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Chamber NewsSurvey shows almost a third of Somerset firms expect to make redundancies in next three months

Survey shows almost a third of Somerset firms expect to make redundancies in next three months

ALMOST a third of Somerset firms which took part in a county-wide business survey expected to make redundancies in the next three months, while half expected turnover to worsen in the next year and three quarters had no plans to recruit. But on the flip side, around 60% of businesses expected their workforce to remain the same in the next three months, a quarter said their cashflow had stayed the...

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