East of England firms state priorities ahead of Budget

Andy Scaysbrook Photographer/ Not On My Watch Campaign

Businesses in the East of England want Chancellor Rishi Sunak to prioritise greater and immediate reforms to business rates (21%) in his first Budget, according to insight from the Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Business Barometer.

They also flagged investment in apprenticeships (18%).

The region’s firms demand the Government to prioritise improvements to highways and roads under its plans to improve UK infrastructure.

East of England firms say they want to see further commitment on infrastructure with road improvements (69%), devolved powers for city regions to run their own transport routes (56%) and investment or incentives to promote decarbonisation (48%) to help boost their businesses.

David Atkinson, regional director for the East of England, at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Business rate reforms are clearly the priority for the region’s firms, as they are nationally, but road improvements and decarbonisation investment and incentives are also towards the top of their agendas.

“We are working with more and more firms seeking to go greener and be more sustainable with the support of our Clean Growth Finance Initiative (CGFI), which offers discounted lending to businesses trying to improve their impact on the environment.”

Across the UK, greater and immediate reforms to business rates (20%) was outlined as the top priority they would like to see the Chancellor commit towards, with improvements to highways and roads (35%) being the top priority for infrastructure.

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

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