The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has today (Monday) launched a strategic framework outlining the policies required to foster business growth in the short-term and lay the foundations for economic stability in the long-term.

  The BCC’s recovery plan has emerged as a result of increasing concerns that the government’s attempts to aid business recovery have so far lacked focus and a clear direction towards growth and stability.  

The business blueprint was presented to representatives from the Bank of England, Treasury and BERR. It will also be submitted to the Chancellor ahead of his 2009 budget. 

Some of the recommendations from the BCC’s National Business Recovery Plan include: 


- Short-term fiscal measures to help with cash-flow such as; a freeze in the national minimum wage in 2009, the reintroduction of empty property rate relief, a reduction in the rate of small companies’ corporation tax, and a reversal in the planned increase for National Insurance Contributions in 2011.  - Increases in “shovel ready” infrastructure projects totalling £20bn over the next 12 months.  

- Creating Enterprise Zones, where businesses in specific areas benefit from a simplified planning regime and exemption from a number of taxes. This will help create local jobs because business friendly conditions will provide an essential boost to local economies.

- Measures to prevent loss of key skills with the introduction of the Temporary Short Time Working Compensation Scheme, previously used between 1979 and 1984, which encourages short-time working rather than redundancy.

- Helping exporters exploit opportunities in the increasingly competitive position of sterling. This requires reform of UKTI programmes and using Enterprise Zones to help businesses target relevant markets more strategically.  

Commenting, David Frost, Director General of the BCC, said: “The government’s attempts to aid business recovery during this recession have so far lacked a clear and overarching strategy. While many measures introduced have been welcomed, a flood of announcements have often confused and lacked direction. 

“It will be business that leads the UK out of recession. For this reason it is vital that government does all it can to help companies by allowing them the freedom to create jobs and wealth. This means cutting taxes, calling time on harmful regulation and a more joined up approach from Whitehall.

“Collectively, we need to be looking at what sort of economy we want to see in the future and importantly what action will need to be taken to get us there. This recovery plan should act to foster growth in the short-term and lay the foundations for economic stability in the long-term.”