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Chamber broadly welcomes Budget


North East England Chamber of Commerce welcomed the Chancellor's Budget with three of its demands to support businesses included.

The Chamber had campaigned for investment in Darlington railway station, full reform of Treasury Green Book (which calculates the return of investment in infrastructure, heavily weighted towards the South at present), and a review of business rates.

Rachel Anderson, Chamber assistant director of policy said: "Overall this Budget was a positive change from the past austerity Budgets and we particularly welcome its clear business focus. It includes measures that will benefit our members and support their growth.

"It is helpful that the government has recognised the problems that businesses are experiencing as a result of coronavirus and introduced support with the abolition of business rates for the small leisure, retail and hospitality sectors."

Stuart Miller, Customer Director from Chamber partner member Newcastle Building Society, said: “The health of our region’s High Streets is critical to supporting thriving local communities so we’re pleased to see the Government’s decision to abolish business rates for shops, cinemas and restaurants with a rateable value of less than £51,000, for the next financial year.

“This is a great helping hand for many small businesses across our region and we hope that it will help support the growth of vibrant and sustainable communities that we can all enjoy.”

Rachel Anderson added: "With regard to the £800m Carbon Capture Storage investment, this is good news for Teesside. We do have a concern that the climate change taxes might impact on heavy industries in our region so will be asking for a long transition period to help them.

"We are disappointed there was not more on education and skills or investment on the new Tees Crossing.

"Overall this Budget does support businesses but only to a point, there is still some way to go until we can say the support we need is definitely 'done'."