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Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 28th November 2022

28th November 2022


Budget reaction

The Chancellor stayed true to his word in focusing on financial stability and targeting support for the most vulnerable in society. But in the teeth of a recession, this statement has not increased business confidence. Businesses welcomed support with business rates, and retention of the employment allowance, although the reduction in the dividend allowance will impact many smaller firms. Almost half of businesses tell us they will find it difficult to pay their energy bills once the Government’s Energy Bill Relief Scheme ends on 31 March 2023. The sooner we get clarity on where future support will be targeted the better. It is good news to hear plans to improve energy efficiency across the economy, but we need to see greater urgency as firms battle with their bills in the here and now. The Government must do more to improve conditions for businesses to invest and grow, otherwise we will be starting from a weak base to power our recovery once global economic conditions stabilise. The Chancellor’s Statement was light on green innovation, didn’t address current labour shortages and had nothing on boosting export led-growth, which we see as key for the national economy.

Business Manifesto

Surrey Chambers has signed up to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) Business Manifesto, sent to the Prime Minister to get firms through the tough months ahead and prepare them for growth going forward.

The Business Manifesto sets out 17 key policies designed to tackle the challenges facing businesses across the economy, the labour market, international trade and Net Zero but the urgent actions include:

Investment in infrastructure; Energy support for businesses; Tackling the tight labour market; and promoting export-led growth.

Local opportunity to influence skills solutions

The Team creating the Local Skills Improvement Plan at Surrey Chambers is now making great strides, and we are delighted to introduce Rob Gibson, Project Manager, Hannah Nicholson, Business Connector and Annie Umair, Events co-ordinator and Project support. This project provides a fantastic opportunity for businesses to have their say around the availability of skills. This will in turn be articulated to training and skills providers, who will work to help close some of the skills gaps identified. Our ears are open, and we are very keen to receive contributions from all sizes, sectors and types of businesses. We also want to hear best practice stories and where things are going well in matching skills needs with provision. We look forward to hearing from those keen on making a difference to the local skills landscape. We will be keeping our microsite, created at top speed by our patrons Akiko, up to date with all our latest findings.


Another government funded initiative is Multiply and our sessions are now available for groups of people in 5 different locations across Surrey. The purpose of our fun courses, delivered by Activate Learning, is to provide a refresher on all things mathematical to help people who are in employment to improve their numeracy skills at work and at home. CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Our delegates will benefit by:

  • Learning some business focused number challenges
  • Meeting others and building their network
  • Improving their budgeting skills
  • Improving their number skills using real life examples
  • Adding skills that could help them progress in their career

It is quite rare that we receive funding for these opportunities in Surrey, so we are very keen that our businesses make the most of them.

Surrey Chambers of Commerce can be reached on 01483 735540,, @surreychambers