Thursday, 15 November 2012

Chancellor must pull out all the stops to support business growth

Ahead of the chancellor’s Autumn Statement next month, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called on the government to take forward targeted measures to boost business growth in the UK. The BCC continues to support the aims of the deficit reduction plan, but believes the government must pull out all the stops to enable British businesses to access new markets, invest and create jobs.
The BCC submission to the chancellor proposes the following:
Measures to promote business growth and exports
  • Implementation of a Growth Voucher scheme. The £100m scheme could give 20,000 businesses with clear growth plans up to £5,000 each to get support to negotiate the planning system, advice on accessing finance or help growing their staff. Businesses applying for the scheme would need a demonstrable business growth plan.
  • Implementation of an Export Voucher scheme. Together with Growth Vouchers, targeted Export Vouchers would build confidence and help to kick-start the rebalancing of the UK economy. Export Vouchers would encourage businesses on the cusp of exporting, or those looking to expand into new markets, to seek out and access the support they need from public or private-sector sources, with minimum bureaucracy.
  • Greater support for UK exporters in overseas markets. The BCC proposes the government spends a further £100m per annum on in-market support for UK exporters in 18 key global markets, linking businesses to new opportunities by adding in-country trade advisers, embedding them with British Chambers overseas and implementing a quality accreditation scheme.
John Longworth, director general of the BCC, said: "The chancellor's Autumn Statement must include tough decisions to prioritise growth without adverse effects on the government's deficit reduction programme. We believe that resources need to be re-prioritised to support business growth, international commerce and the building of houses and infrastructure here at home.
“Our message to the chancellor is clear. Business will lead Britain's economic recovery, but it needs targeted support and a confidence boost from the government. Ministers must be bold and take some unpopular decisions, including a shift of resources from welfare spending towards crucial growth measures. It won’t be easy, but the interests of the nation must be put first so we can ensure a bright future for our children and grandchildren for years to come.
“Firms up and down the country have been looking for ways to grow, export to new markets and take on more staff in the face of weak growth and continued problems in the eurozone. While recent GDP data will give many businesses a confidence boost, the government still has work to do to ensure that our economic recovery is sustainable over the long-term."

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