Business owners face crushing costs on all sides, says CEO Ian Girling, as Dorset Chamber works to help where it can and lobby where it should
A warm welcome to my September column and I hope you’ve had a good summer.
It’s clearly a very challenging time for both households and businesses as we all continue to face significant cost-of-living increases as well as soaring energy costs.
Recent statistics are worrying:
Inflation is at a 40 year high at over 10 per cent now and forecast to be at over 13 per cent in October. Some are predicting this could more than double next year.
The latest increase of 1.75 per cent is the largest interest rate rise in 27 years and the rate is expected to increase further yet.
We are seeing energy costs increase five-fold for some businesses – and households are also facing substantial cost increases.
UK real pay has fallen by
3 per cent between April and June, the largest drop ever recorded – businesses are facing huge upward wage pressure.
Insolvencies are on the increase, up by 63 per cent in the manufacturing sector since last year, and 60 per cent among UK restaurants.
As a Chamber, we continue to do our best for our members and Dorset businesses. Through our membership of the British Chambers of Commerce, at a national level were are pushing for increased support to include emergency energy grants for businesses, giving Ofgem further powers to strengthen regulation of the energy market for businesses, a temporary cut in VAT to 5 per cent to reduce energy costs for businesses and for the Government to temporarily reverse National Insurance contributions and put money back into the pockets of businesses and workers.
Help with resilience
We are also launching a new programme for businesses – a series of themed virtual workshops, free to attend, aimed at building the resilience of businesses. Our aim, as always, is to do our very best to support Dorset businesses.
I am very keen to hear how Dorset business are faring in the current climate. I’d like to hear about your specific concerns – and to see where we can help, whether through our lobbying or business support. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch – we will do our best to help.
Contact the Chamber on
01202 71800 or you can message Ian via LinkedIn here