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East Midlands businesses call on Chancellor for direct help over rising prices and surging energy costs

East Midlands businesses call on Chancellor for direct help over rising prices and surging energy costs

A recent survey from Lloyds Bank shows businesses’ hopes for the forthcoming Spring Statement:

  • More than four in ten (42%) East Midlands businesses are calling for help managing rising prices and energy costs
  • Surging prices are causing almost a third (30%) of the region’s firms to worry about increasing costs for their goods and services and one in ten (11%) said they would consider scaling back operations
  • Business leaders are also looking for VAT reductions (35%) and grants to cover energy costs (29%) in Spring Statement.

Businesses in the East Midlands are calling for the Chancellor to announce new measures to help with rising costs ahead of his Spring Statement on 23rd March, according to a recent survey from Lloyds Bank.

As inflation hits the highest levels seen since 1992, more than four in ten (42%) businesses said that direct help with energy bills and rising costs tops their wish list for the Chancellor. This was followed closely by calls for a reduction in VAT, cited by more than a third of the region’s firms (35%). Funding to help create new jobs and develop skills was top of the list for one in five (22%).

Rising prices remain a key challenge for business. Almost a third (30%) of East Midlands businesses said they are concerned about having to increase the costs of goods and services, and 28% stated that inflation is reducing profitability. One in ten (11%) said rising prices were causing them to worry about having to scale back their operations, and a further one in eight (13%) were concerned about how to cover overheads.

To help specifically with rising prices, East Midlands businesses are asking the Chancellor for tax holidays or tax-incentives (36%), grants to cover rising energy costs (29%), and support to reduce barriers to trade (21%).

The data comes as businesses face continuing supply chain challenges, which are reducing the availability of stock (51%), causing hikes in freight costs (32%), and disruption through increased border controls and custom regulations (22%).

Dave Atkinson, regional director for the East Midlands at Lloyds Bank, said:

“Rising prices are causing multiple challenges for businesses in the East Midlands and the pressure from inflation shows no sign of abating in the near-term.

“Firms will need support to cope with these additional pressures, and we will remain by their side to help them navigate this difficult period and continue to drive the region’s economic recovery.”


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