The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has set out four goals the Chancellor must hit during his Spring Budget.
Issues of childcare, energy costs, business rates and green funding must be solved to unlock firms’ growth potential.
With recent BCC research showing more than 75% of companies failing to increase investment, due to a lack of confidence in the economy, the Government is now on borrowed time to find answers.
The BCC budget submission sets out the barriers holding business back and a range of options to shift the dial.
Key among them are:
- Unlocking talent and easing pressure in the labour market by making childcare more affordable for cash-strapped parents and guardians
- Boosting the UK’s start-ups, by further reforming the business rates system to remove the upfront financial squeeze they face
- Setting a framework for Solvency II investment that helps direct funds to where they can have the most impact, leveraging the opportunities of green innovation
- Funding to help businesses become greener and more energy efficient
Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC, said: “The last three years have put UK business under huge stress, and we urgently need to see coherent policies from Government that set the economy on a path to growth.
“But everywhere they turn, businesses see barriers to investment and expansion. They cannot get staff, they cannot pay their energy bills and business rates, they cannot get decent loans or easily shift to greener technology and systems.
“We need to unlock the potential of our start-up and scale-up firms by giving them some certainty on the future and relieving the upfront cost pressures that strangle their ambition before they can get off the ground.
“Chambers are already developing their own accelerators to help firms invest in greener and more energy efficient technologies and systems, but Government needs to do more.
“These measures could transform the landscape for hard-pressed businesses and free them from the shackles that are binding our economy.”
The BCC’s four non-negotiables form part of its wider budget submission to the Treasury. It has put together a list of 24 recommendations for the Chancellor that could create the conditions businesses need to power the UK’s economic recovery.