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#BusinessSOS - Immediate action required from Chancellor

Sponsored feature | By Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID

Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID Picture: Richard Marsham
Ian Sandison, CEO of Cambridge BID Picture: Richard Marsham

A new #BusinessSOS campaign warns of business closure and redundancies if immediate and effective action isn’t taken by the Chancellor in this week’s mini-Budget.

The campaign, supported by Cambridge BID and founded by organisations representing more than 150,000 retail, leisure, hospitality and tourism businesses warns that harm caused by the spiralling energy crisis is superseding the pandemic with the potential to cause irreversible damage to UK high streets and the economy.

The #BusinessSOS campaign believes business closures and redundancies are inevitable if the government does not swiftly implement measures that alleviate the critical pressures that businesses, like households, have been facing since April 2022.

The campaign calls for a three-point plan to support businesses:

  1. Reduce VAT - Headline rate reduced from 20 per cent to 12.5 per cent, and reduce VAT on business energy bills from 20 per cent to 5 per cent in line with domestic billing
  2. Business rates relief - 100 per cent rate relief until March 31, 2023
  3. Energy rate relief - A discounted kilowatt hour (kWh) price on all business energy bills.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “The hospitality sector is crucial to delivering the business-led growth the new government is striving for, but we are facing an existential crisis due to soaring energy bills.

“We’re encouraged by the new Prime Minister’s commitment to tackling energy prices, but we need to see urgent, comprehensive action. As well as a price freeze, we need to see a cut to VAT and a business rates holiday if businesses in the sector are to have any hope of making it through the winter.”

The campaign is supported by, the Beer and Pub Association, The Nighttime Industries Association, the Association of Town and City Centre Management, British BIDs, the industry body UKHospitality and UKinbound.

Our high street is still recovering from the pandemic and many businesses are saying without direct government support the economic outlook this winter will be worse. The Prime Minister has intervened for consumers - we now need the Chancellor to do the same for businesses.

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