Liverpool Chamber and its members call are urging the Chancellor to take action in his Spring Statement to tackle the escalating cost of doing business crisis.
Paul Cherpeau, chief executive, Liverpool Chamber, said:
“Businesses in the Liverpool City Region are facing an onslaught of financial pressures and the Chancellor must use the Spring Statement to lighten that burden wherever possible.
“As they try to re-emerge from the pandemic, many businesses are saddled with debt, soaring energy costs and the looming dual threat of rising National Insurance Contributions and ever-increasing interest rates. Confidence among business owners and consumers is severely dented, while the cost of doing business has rarely been higher.
“If the government is serious about tackling rising prices, protecting jobs and creating opportunities for future investment – not to mention ‘levelling up’ – it needs to give regional businesses room to breathe by delaying the National Insurance rise and introducing a temporary energy price cap for SMEs to reduce the drag on the regional economy.
“We also need to see additional financial support to help small firms and energy intensive businesses, a moratorium for the life of this parliament on all policy measures that increase business costs and a commitment from the Supply Chain Advisory Group and Industry Taskforce to continue to work with industry to urgently deliver practical solutions to ease supply chain disruption and labour shortages that drive an upward pressure on prices.
“British Chambers of Commerce has recommended a five-point plan and only by adopting this kind of approach can the government hope to tackle the Cost of Doing Business Crisis and give organisations the reassurance they need at a time of great uncertainty.”
Sue Harvey, commercial manager, Strawberry Field, added:
“Venues up and down the country are urging the government to extend its 12.5% VAT rate for businesses past April.
“I believe this is imperative in order for support to be provided for our sector, and for thousands of jobs to be protected, during what has been an incredibly testing time for many post-pandemic, with the rising cost of living now also higher than ever before.
“For an industry and workforce that is reliant on discretionary spending, the 12.5% VAT rate on food, soft drinks, accommodation, tickets and many other items has allowed for many venues to survive since 2019, and it is crucial now that the Spring Statement brings extra financial support, in order for our tourist attractions, venues, restaurants and bars to flourish in 2022 and beyond.”