Somerset Chamber

Talk to the team 01823 444924


Tell us your business news

Learn more


Chamber news

Firms need a clear roadmap as rates are held

The Bank of England has held interest rates at 5.25%, saying price rises were slowing faster than expected.

The rate is still the highest for 15 years after the Bank raised rates for 14 times in succession.

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “Businesses will be giving a cautious welcome to today’s decision by the Bank of England to hold the base rate at 5.25%. Constant hikes in the cost-of-borrowing have had a hugely detrimental impact on the firms we represent.

Research published earlier this week by the BCC Insight’s Unit found that 46% of companies said the current interest rate is having a negative impact, while only 9% are seeing benefits.

“Companies need reassurance that decisions on interest rates are not knee-jerk reactions to the most recent inflation data.

“We need clear direction from decision makers, creating a roadmap for business that really boosts confidence and investment.”

Bank of England, Vicky Pryce, senior member of the BCC’s Economic Advisory Group, said: “With clear signs that inflation, including core inflation is slowing down, the decision to pause, and possibly bring to end the current interest rate hike cycle, makes sense.

“The sharp increase in the cost of borrowing over the past year and a half has already left many SMEs in real difficulty.

“Research published earlier this week by the BCC Insight’s Unit showed that 46% of companies said that the current interest regime was having a negative impact on their business, particularly among the smaller and consumer facing businesses, such as hospitality and retail.”

Connect. Influence. Grow.

Join Somerset Chamber of Commerce to give your business a stronger voice both locally, regionally and nationally. Combined with local town chambers, we represent over 2,000 businesses across Somerset with a direct line to policy-makers at all levels.

Discover the benefitsJoin now