Sean Rose, head of policy and representation at the Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce, said the recent drop in inflation was a boost to businesses and that while firms wanted some of the obstacles to growth removed, they will not want to see a repeat of last year.
He said the city and the county would benefit from planning reforms to unlock development opportunities.
Sean said: “Despite the recent positive news on inflation, the Chancellor still has very little headroom to introduce fiscal stimulus. He will not want to risk undoing all the hard work that has been done to get inflation down over the past 12 months in this statement and will certainly want to avoid what happened just over a year ago with Kwasi Kwarteng’s now infamous budget.
“That said, there are areas where the Government can support growth – not by offering a blank cheque of financial incentives but removing some of the blockers for businesses.
“One area that we definitely want to see is a reforming of the planning system to speed up and unlock more employment land to give businesses much needed room to grow. Those reforms could also unlock infrastructure projects, as well as much-needed housing.
“We certainly need to see an upgrading of the energy grid to unlock new business development and investment. This is not only crucial in the short-term, it is vital for our long-term plans to hit net zero.
“One area of the economy that does require support is hospitality and retail and we’d like to see an extension of rates relief for this sector by freezing the multiplier, and looking at reforming the system to better reflect firms’ ability to pay.
“Business rates reform has long been talked about but the system is no longer fit for purpose and needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.
“Other areas where we, alongside colleagues at the British Chambers of Commerce are asking for reform is in introducing tax breaks to encourage firms to offer Occupational Health and, also, introducing a rolling five-year guarantee for the continuation of the full expensing tax break, to increase take up.
“We are also keeping our fingers crossed that the Chancellor will use this moment to support our regional economy directly because we can all see what a fantastic opportunity we have to be at the forefront of battery and green technologies.”
For further information on any of the Chamber Asks for the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, please speak to Sean Rose - email [email protected] or call 024 7665 4321.