The times are challenging, says Dorset Chamber CEO Ian Girling, but growth and innovation remain critical, as do long term solutions
As we return to work after the Christmas break, I’d like to wish everyone a happy, successful, and prosperous 2023. As we look to the next few months, we know the economic climate will remain challenging but my hope is we start to see improving conditions as we go further into the year.
The new deal on energy support offers cold comfort for businesses in Dorset. Although continued assistance and the 12-month duration of the scheme is welcome, the 85 per cent drop in the financial envelope of support will fall short for those who are seriously struggling – and we’re aware that these costs are already significant enough to cause the closure of businesses.
Clearly, the Government must consider the public finances. But the correct level of support must be viewed as an investment in the economy, helping businesses to get the UK back to growth and prosperity in the critical year ahead.
In the short to medium term the Chancellor must be ready to intervene with additional assistance should it be required, and long-term solutions must be considered urgently.
This must include reform of the business energy market, including the potential strengthening of Ofgem’s powers, as part of an energy strategy to promote longer-term market stability and ways to allow firms to improve their energy efficiency.
It’s essential that business leaders maintain their focus on growth and innovation and that we push forward with our business plans.
Dorset Chamber will continue to provide support for businesses in the county and support the British Chambers of Commerce in its lobbying of the government. Through our national voice within the British Chambers of Commerce, we will continue to lobby the government on critical issues such as the energy costs. We will continue to do all we can locally not only for our members but for the wider business community.
I wish you all the very best for 2023 – Ian