'New PM needs to hit the ground running' says Coventry commerce chief - The Coventry Observer

'New PM needs to hit the ground running' says Coventry commerce chief

Coventry Editorial 11th Sep, 2022   0

BUSINESSES in Coventry and Warwickshire want new Prime Minister Liz Truss to take immediate action to support the economy, according to the region’s Chamber of Commerce.

Starting her new job after defeating Rishi Sunak, Ms Truss faces inflation and a cost-of-living crisis for people and businesses.

Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce chief executive Corin Crane said the chamber wished Ms Truss every success but warned there was ‘very little time to waste’.

“There has been a hiatus in Government while this leadership race has taken place at a time when businesses and individuals are facing a major crisis of rising costs that simply cannot be sustained.

“Liz Truss will have to hit the ground running if the country is to get to grips with the issues around energy costs and inflation that are putting huge strain on the economy.

“It’s vitally important the economy gets the support it needs to help overcome this crisis.”

Mr Crane also highlighted energy costs as one of the biggest concerns businesses in Coventry were facing heading into the autumn and winter.

“Energy costs are crippling businesses around the region, with some chamber members paying four or five times more and signing deals with providers they are unsure if they’ll be able to afford.”

He also suggested something ‘very clever’ needed to be done to address the high vacancy rates and a fresh approach was needed to deal with international trade.

The British Chamber of Commerce set out a five-point action plan to support businesses last month and it has been sent to the Treasury and Ms Truss’ team.

This plan includes giving more power to Ofgem to strengthen regulation of the energy market for businesses, to see a temporary five per cent cut in VAT to reduce businesses’ energy costs and introducing Covid-style support through a Government Emergency Energy Grant for SMEs.

Mr Crane said the chamber was ‘really pleased’ a lot of Ms Truss’ early debate had been around business and it was ‘ready and waiting to help Coventry businesses flourish’.

“The West Midlands is the heartbeat of the UK economy and we need a PM who will use business organisations such as Chambers of Commerce to help businesses survive and grow.”


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