Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 4th July 2022
4th July 2022
We held an excellent graduation celebration for all the businesses that took part in our second Start-up Academy, and we are now looking forward to recruiting the next cohort. We are welcoming pre-starts and early start businesses (Up to 3 years) to take advantage of this invaluable support. They will benefit from a stellar group of presenters across 9 sessions at the Login Business Lounge, Camberley and at the end of the 9 months they will each have a fantastic set of resources to use for the future of their businesses.
Surrey Business Awards
These awards are heralded as one of the best in the country and we are delighted to be working with Platinum again this year to make them even bigger and better. There are still a couple of sponsorship opportunities available so do contact us if you are interested. Many of you deserve to be recognised for how you have met the challenges of the last 2 years. Make sure you enter at least one category. Click here to go straight to the details.
70 years of HM the Queens patronage
Surrey Chambers, along with the British Chambers of Commerce, have celebrated 70 years of HM the Queen being our patron. She has always been very interested in the business community and we thank her for her constant support.
What is happening to GDP (the value of the economy)?
The fall of 0.3% in April, following a 0.2% decrease in March, highlights the increasing stress our economy is under. All main sectors have seen a fall in growth, the first time since January 2021. This decline is the inevitable outcome of surging inflation, supply chain disruption and widespread skills shortages. Businesses from all sectors are facing unprecedented rises in raw material costs, soaring energy bills, and wage pressures. The introduction of an increase to employer National Insurance Contributions in April has only further added to firms’ woes. This declining output comes off the back of two years of significant damage sustained by small businesses, whose weakened cash positions mean that they are in a far worse position to stomach further pressure.
What is challenging businesses now?
The most frequent concern we are currently hearing is around the difficulties of recruitment. An increasingly tight labour market means it’s much harder for employers to fill job vacancies – impacting on their ability to operate normally and retain skills in the business. With a new record set for the number of vacancies, and no easy way to fill them for many companies, labour shortages are starting to damage growth prospects. Despite recruitment difficulties, the damage to firms’ finances from soaring inflation and rising national insurance will limit the extent to which wages can continue rising. We need to find ways to bring people back into the labour market. Flexible working practices, rapid re-training opportunities and a focus on workplace health can support many economically inactive people to return to the workplace. But for some roles, where there is clear evidence of a national shortage of skills and labour, firms need access to people, at all skill levels, from outside the UK and we are keeping the pressure on Westminster to address this.