Today, the British Chambers of Commerce is leading a trade mission to Moscow to give British companies the chance to explore export opportunities in Russia. The two-day mission, which has been organised in partnership with easyJet and the Russo-British Chambers of Commerce, allows Chamber businesses from across the UK to boost trading links with Russia at a time when its export market continues to surge. With the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games approaching and an increased appetite for quality services and goods, Russia has become even more attractive for British exports.
Policy & Lobbying
Date: March 19, 2013 Time: 9:56 am
Date: January 23, 2013 Time: 12:52 pm
- In the three months to November 2012, unemployment fell by 37,000 compared with the previous three months, while employment increased by 90,000
- Youth unemployment rose by 1,000 in the three months to November, but remained below one million
Commenting on the UK labour market statistics published today by the ONS, David Kern, Chief Economist at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
“Once again, unemployment is down, employment is up, and there is a modest decline in the number of economically inactive people. The new figures reinforce favourable trends that have been apparent over the past year, and raise continued questions over the accuracy of the much more pessimistic GDP figures.
BCC: Prime Minister is right to renegotiate Britain’s place in Europe, but pace and ambition required
Date: January 23, 2013 Time: 12:19 pm
Commenting on today’s speech on Europe by the Prime Minister, the Rt Hon David Cameron MP, John Longworth, Director General at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:
“The vast majority of businesses across the UK want to stay in the Single Market, but on the basis of a revised relationship with Europe that promotes trade and competitiveness. It is of critical importance to business and to Britain’s national interest that we have access to the European market, but not at any cost. On this basis, the Prime Minister’s determination to negotiate a new settlement for Britain is the right course of action.
“The Prime Minister must seek an ambitious and far-reaching settlement. We start with a strong negotiating position. We run a trade deficit with the EU, so it is not in Europe’s interest to see the UK go.
Date: October 1, 2012 Time: 10:05 am
The British Chambers of Commerce have released the results of a survey of more than 5,000 businesses, which found that 94% of firms have been paid late, with one in four reporting that over 40% of their payments were not received on time.
Asked of their experience of late payments, 94% of businesses report that they have been paid late. Almost one quarter (24%) of businesses reported that over 40% of payments were received late. While 37% of firms stated that firm size did not affect late payments, 34% of firms stated that larger businesses were more likely than smaller businesses to pay late, compared to 24% who stated that smaller businesses were more likely to pay late.
Almost two-thirds (62%) of businesses said that private sector businesses are the most likely to pay late, dropping to 34% for the public sector. When asked whether the economic climate had affected late payment, a third of businesses (33%) said most customers were now paying late after the downturn.
Over a third (38%) of businesses themselves admit to paying late ‘sometimes’, ‘frequently’ or ‘always’. When asked when they might pay late, a third of businesses (35%) would do so to help cashflow, and another third because they would be unable to pay suppliers until they had received payment from their own customers. Read More
Date: September 11, 2012 Time: 9:32 am
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has published a paper setting out the detailed case for the establishment of a state-backed British Business Bank.
The BCC’s long-standing call for the creation of a business bank received a boost when both Chancellor George Osborne and Business Secretary Vince Cable announced that their departments were considering the creation of a new bank to improve the flow of credit to small- and medium-sized businesses.
The new BCC paper, entitled The Case for a British Business Bank, says that a new state-backed business bank:
- would be a clear ‘first port of call’ for all viable companies seeking growth finance
- would complement, not cannibalise, existing banks and other lenders, with commercial lenders having a ‘first right of refusal’ on all applications received by the business bank
- would particularly help dynamic and fast-growing companies, many of whom report difficulty accessing finance, as well as address ‘discouraged demand’ among some existing bank customers
- should have its own infrastructure to rigorously assess risk and return, rather than depend on the increasingly risk-averse culture of commercial banks
- could open its doors by the end of this Parliament, and have a positive effect on the UK’s growth prospects for decades to come.
The BCC’s paper also notes that the state-backed bank could help companies seeking mezzanine, export or supply-chain finance support, which will be key to rebalancing the economy in the years to come.
Commenting, Dr Adam Marshall, Director of Policy and External Affairs at the BCC, said: “We have repeatedly urged ministers to take the bold step to establish a British Business Bank, which could help kick-start growth and jobs in the UK for decades to come. So we are pleased that the Chancellor and the Business Secretary, as well as the Opposition, are now examining the case for the creation of a state-backed business bank.
“The BCC’s proposal envisages a wholly-new British Business Bank, rather than the conversion of any existing financial institution owned by the taxpayer. Banks in full or partial state ownership as a result of the financial crisis should be returned to the private sector when the investment delivers an appropriate return for the taxpayer.
“Our new report addresses many of the obstacles to the creation of a business bank, and shows that a new institution is both realistic and achievable. Ministers have a golden opportunity to pass enabling legislation for a business bank this autumn, and to dedicate their attention to ensuring that it is operational before the end of this Parliament. A business bank isn’t the answer to economic stagnation in the short-term, and the government must be careful to get the set-up right the first time.
“But a business bank would be able to help prevent a repeat of the financing difficulties faced by many companies since the credit crunch. What’s more, a business bank could help many new and fast-growing companies become the UK’s future champions.”