Latest Updates From Surrey Chambers CEO – 8th August 2022
11th August 2022
The Bank of England interest rate rise to 1.75% last week was no surprise as it was predicted in advance of the announcement. This rise is the clearest signal yet of the Bank of England’s intention to get inflation under control. Spiralling prices are cited by businesses as by far and away the top concern right now. However, given the extremely precarious state of the economy, this decision is not without risk for businesses and consumers that are exposed to banking or overdraft facilities. There are many causes of the current inflation crisis – global supply chain problems, trade barriers, soaring energy costs, increased taxes, and labour market shortages. Interest rate rises alone will do little to address these. Worryingly, our research indicates strongly that most small businesses are not investing for growth, and that longer-term confidence is beginning to wane. We are also seeing some significant issues with individuals citing cost rises as untenable. We are currently working on proposals to support those worse off as ultimately this has a knock-on effect to business stability.
Our network of Chambers has written and spoken to the Government suggesting three ways of tackling the current recruitment challenges. Firstly, firms must be incentivised to find new ways of unlocking pools of talent – by investing more in training their workforce, adopting more flexible working practises and expanding the use of apprenticeships; secondly, the Government must help employers invest in training by reducing the upfront costs on business and providing training related tax breaks; and thirdly the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) must be reformed to allow sectors facing urgent demand for skills to get what they need.
A skilled workforce is at the heart of every business. Getting to know the education and skills landscape – and the different ways to get involved – can benefit a business in many ways, helping them to get and grow the talent they need. We know that the language businesses speak, and the language educators speak can be quite far apart so the business representative organisations, including Chambers have come together to create a guide for Employers. It highlights which opportunities are the best fit for a business, to connect them to their future workforce, and to upskill their current team. It is definitely worth taking a look at. https://educationlandscape.org.uk/
Closer to home
We are having a quieter time in August with many people taking full advantage of the fantastic weather (although some rain would be welcomed by our gardens and certain businesses.) We have a few events running including a “Have your cake” networking with Hampshire businesses and a members networking in East Surrey. The opportunities for these venues to showcase their outside spaces is really appreciated by the attendees and conducive to making some great connections.
Surrey Business Expo
We are delighted to announce that we are planning and delivering the Seminar and Workshop programme for the Surrey Business Expo, taking place at Surrey Sports Park on April 19th 2023.There are still some great stands to book and it is a brilliant opportunity to meet 100s of businesses in one day. https://www.surreybusinessexpo.com/