Action needed to address ‘cost of doing business crisis’


The Essex Chambers of Commerce recently highlighted the plight of Essex businesses facing huge energy costs prompting further communications with the government in the lead up to the 2022 Spring Statement. Industry leaders have observed increases throughout the supply chain including rising raw material costs and commodity prices, labour shortages, increasing shipping and HGV driver costs, national minimum wage increases and new types of taxation. 

Denise Rossiter stated “we have been in dialogue with our members and the growing cost of doing business, with rising inflation and fuel prices is really starting to put pressure on businesses across Essex. We encourage businesses to speak to the Chamber in order to get support and look at ways in which they can continue to grow.”
With a week to go, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called on the government to use the Spring Statement to enact the BCC’s Five Point Plan to Tackle the Cost of Doing Business Crisis. 

1. Delay the impending National Insurance rise by one year to give firms much-needed financial headroom to weather this unprecedented surge in costs facing businesses and power the recovery.  
2. Temporary energy price cap for small businesses to protect smaller firms from some of the price increases they would otherwise face, offering the same protection as households.   
3. Additional financial support, through the expansion of the energy bills rebate scheme for households to also include small firms and energy intensive businesses, a new support fund, administered by Ofgem to support the smallest firms with their soaring energy bills and a six-month extension to the Recovery Loan Scheme, leaving it in place until the end of 2022. 
4. A moratorium, for the life of this parliament, on all policy measures that increase business costs, including no new business taxes or added regulatory burdens, but excluding only evidence-based changes to the National Living Wage. 
5. A commitment from the government’s Supply Chain Advisory Group and Industry Taskforce to continue to work with industry to urgently deliver practical solutions to ease the sup
ply chain disruption and labour shortages that continue to drive the upward pressure on prices. 

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