Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 25th July 2022
26th July 2022
It is always a challenge to create an update within anything more than 24 hours of publication. As we go to print the leadership of the Conservative party is well under way with Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss left in the race to become the next prime minister. As a network of Chambers, we have made it clear to the potential leaders, the priorities needed by our business communities.
Last month British Chambers of Commerce published its latest Quarterly Economic Survey for Q2 – the UK’s largest independent survey of business sentiment and a leading indicator of UK economic performance. Surrey businesses contribute to this survey and in line with our local conversations It showed a reduction in the proportion of firms reporting increased domestic sales, lower investment intentions, and a drop in growth prospects in the long term. At the same time, measures for inflation are at the highest levels in the survey’s history with 2 in 3 firms expecting to raise prices.
Based on this feedback we are urging the next prime minister to have a laser focus on reversing these trends and fixing the fundamentals to support growth. We are calling for action in four areas that must be addressed to boost business confidence and drive the economy:
- Economy – help firms manage cost pressures by reducing their tax burden
- People – reform our training and immigration systems to help firms find the people they need in an increasingly tight labour market
- Trade – ensure firms have the support they need to take advantage of global business opportunities
- Net Zero – incentivise firms to build a green economy and support them through the transition
Closer to home
It could be described as bad planning or bad luck, but Surrey Chambers AGM took place on the hottest day of the year. The good news was that it was held in the outgoing President’s premises, complete with state-of-the-art air conditioning. Steve Coburn Managing Director of projectfive and login business lounge, was thanked for his incredible support of the local business community, particularly over the last 2 years. His communications from local members to government ministers via the British Chambers of Commerce made a real difference. The baton has been handed over to Haines Watts Managing Partner, Daniel Morgan, who has already been supporting the Chamber on the Board and he will be a great President to carry on representing our members.
Some new initiatives
We were delighted to announce the launch of the Woking International trade forum this month. Set up by Surrey Chambers and supported by Woking Works we will be providing peer support alongside expertise to anyone thinking of embarking on an International Trade strategy; anyone looking to increase their international footprint, and anyone just interested in the subject! We will be connecting with Chambers across the World to bring interesting opportunities to the Forum.
The UK prosperity Fund has been launched with all Boroughs and Districts being awarded £1million each over the next 3 years. The funds are to support Communities, and business support appears within the interventions the government is seeking. We will be working to influence as much support for local businesses as possible
Surrey Business Awards
We are hoping for a bumper number of entries this year as so many businesses have a story to tell. Those who have attended before are aware that the awards ceremony is a fantastic evening, and we are looking forward to whatever Platinum have in store for us on the 3rd November.
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