British Chambers of Commerce: UK economy “still stuck in first gear”


According to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the UK’s economy has a long way to go until recovery. The BCC described it as being “stuck in first gear” in recognition of the fact that a large number of the country’s businesses are still operating at half their pre-coronavirus capacity. We have the BCC’s own Coronavirus Impact Tracker to thank for this gloomy, but illuminating, piece of news.

The tracker found that more-than half of all UK businesses were suffering from reduced demand, and that this dry-up was rated as one of the two biggest obstacles to maintaining day-to-day operations. The other was the impact from possible future lockdowns. As a result of these challenges, a third of British companies say they plan to make redundancies in coming months, with 13% having already done so.

The BCC’s Director General, Adam Marshall, commented: “Our findings demonstrate that the UK’s economic restart is still very much in first gear. Businesses are grappling with reduced customer demand, an ongoing cash crunch and the potential for further lockdowns during an uncertain autumn and winter ahead. The time has come for the government to take radical steps to slash the tax burden around employment to help companies pay valued staff, rather than the Revenue.

“A major boost to the Employment Allowance and an increase in the threshold for employers’ national insurance contributions (NICs) should both be in the Chancellor’s sights if he wants to help viable companies save jobs as the furlough scheme comes to an end.”

If your business is struggling to survive in post-lockdown Britain, give JW Hinks a call on 0121 456 0190. Our business consultancy service is perfectly positioned to help you maximise efficiency and drive innovation, giving you the best chance of success when times are tough.

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