Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 6th October 2022
6th October 2022
Having announced support for businesses with their energy we have been finding out what this actually means. The new scheme is all about capping wholesale energy costs. Wholesale (commodity) electricity prices will be capped at 21.1p/kWh and gas prices will be capped at 7.5p/kWh. All non-commodity costs will not be fixed and will vary between suppliers and region. But only approximately 35% of a unit rate in Power is applicable to wholesale costs, and approximately 46% in Gas; the remainder is non-commodity charges built into the rate. If a business’s existing contract was fixed on or after 1st April 2022, then they will receive the discount provided the wholesale element of their contract is higher than the capped price, and any business entering new fixed price contracts after 1st October will also receive support on the same basis.
Some positive results from the recent “mini budget”
After months of campaigning, the Government’s announcement to reverse the increase to the National Insurance Contribution (NIC) was a big win for the British Chambers of Commerce, the network of Chambers and the business community. This is much needed support for businesses during these difficult times. To truly revitalise our economy for the difficult months ahead we were hoping for a clear long-term plan that gives businesses the confidence to grow. This in turn will have a positive impact on their staff, who are also facing cost increases in every area, not helped by the latest interest rate hike to 2.25%.
It was good to hear the Chancellor’s pledge to focus on economic growth and speed up new infrastructure development, but this will need to be preceded by changes to our creaking planning system, which is too slow, complex and uncertain. It stifles business investment, expansion and growth. We hope to see the Chancellor develop a comprehensive long-term economic strategy, leading to a return to the vibrant economy we are used to.
Working with Heathrow Airport
We are delighted to be partnering with Heathrow Airport on their 24th edition of the Heathrow Business Summit on Tuesday 15th November 2022. The Business Summit is the first since 2019 and will take place at the London Heathrow Marriott Hotel. It will enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to discover new opportunities at Heathrow and learn about how they can be a part of a sustainable supply chain. SMEs play a critical role in enabling the £188bn worth of trade that passes through Heathrow each year, alongside the millions of passengers that travel through the airport. Registration is now open and we can point any interested businesses to the link.
Keeping businesses up to date
Local activity continues to provide businesses with up to date information and support.
We are offering 4 different International Trade training courses to help improve the productivity of companies working overseas. These courses are sponsored by the Department of Education via their Strategic Development Fund and are already proving popular. Anyone interested should contact the Chamber.
There will be more focus on skills over the next few months as we reach out to Employers to hear from them on skills shortages. We have been designated by the Secretary of State for Education to work with the business and education community to create a Local Skills Improvement Plan (LSIP) to ensure skills provision meets business demands. It will be an exciting opportunity to give businesses the chance to influence the skills agenda. Please help us to gather the best possible intel by talking to us about your skills needs. We will be in touch in various ways!