Chamber News: Business Manifesto Outlines 5-point Action Plan 

May 30, 2024

A five-point plan for immediate action by the new government is at heart of the British Chambers of Commerce Election Manifesto published today.  

The BCC wants to see: 

·        An Industrial Strategy with green innovation at its heart. 

·        Better skills planning, bringing businesses and training providers together. 

·        Business rates reform to encourage growth and investment. 

·        Improved relations with the European Union to cut the costs for business. 

·        A Government appointed AI champion for SMEs to spearhead uptake of new technology. 

The five-point plan is part of the BCC’s ‘Future of the Economy’ manifesto. The manifesto includes the biggest ideas from a series of extensive policy documents published this year, focusing on the key economic challenges identified by the BCC. The challenges are: Green Innovation, People and Work, Local Economies of the Future, Global Britain and the Digital Revolution. 

The manifesto has been brought together after extensive consultation with the Chamber network, the BCC’s Business Council, external stakeholders, and academics.  

Baroness Martha Lane Fox, President of the BCC said: 

“In the frenzy of the election campaign, it’s crucial that all politicians focus on the power of British business.  

“As I travel across the UK meeting Chambers and their businesses, I hear amazing stories of people determined to grow their businesses and make a difference in our remarkable country. But time and again businesses tell me they want to see a long-term vision for the economy.” 

“Our manifesto showcases practical ideas on how politicians can help companies successfully navigate the challenges and opportunities our economy faces. It’s a blueprint for boosting productivity and a pathway to higher growth.  

“Whichever party is in power after July 4th the immediate focus must be on implementing our five-point-plan for business. The stakes for business from the next government could not be higher.” 

Shevaun Haviland, Director General of the BCC said:  

“A General Election is an important time for our country, our economy, and our businesses.  

“The companies we represent are the drivers of economic growth and the employers of millions of people. They need to know that politicians have got their back. Once the votes are counted – we want government to know how to help business. Our five-point-plan is clear.  

“As companies play their part in the UK’s net-zero journey, we desperately need an industrial strategy with green innovation at its heart.  

“Firms are constantly telling us they can’t get the skills they need. We need better strategic planning on skills that helps business and training providers work together.  

“In local communities, firms are crying out for a fairer business rates system. Over a quarter (26%) of companies told us earlier this year they’d changed plans to upgrade or open premises because of the system.  

“The EU is the UK’s biggest market, so we urgently need to get a better trading relationship with our closet neighbour. It’s not about rewriting the referendum result, it’s about cutting red-tape and promoting trade.  

“The world of AI has huge potential to boost economic productivity. But it’s important that SMEs aren’t left behind, or vulnerable, as new technology accelerates. A Government appointed AI champion will help spearhead a boost in AI uptake by SMEs.  

“We believe our 5-point plan creates an immediate pathway for a new government, of whatever party, to help businesses succeed. When business succeeds, the country succeeds.” 

You can read the Manifesto here

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