We recognise that the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was delivered against the backdrop of multiple crises impacting the global community right now. It was also never going to be “give away” budget.
However, responding to the challenges we are facing right now is a matter of urgency. Has the chancellor gone far enough to support those businesses in our sector that are most in need right now? It certainly would appear that the big ticket items around tax are “for the future” but the reality is that we had hoped for a response to the crises faced today.
Even before yesterday’s announcement, our Policy and Research Team has identified that around 1 in 5 community-owned businesses supported by Plunkett are ‘vulnerable’ as a result of the financial pressures they currently face. Costs are rising across the board for energy, wholesale goods, and staff wages. The knock-on effects such as a fall in custom are deeply concerning for many.
The stark news that accompanied yesterday’s statement from the Chancellor, that living standards are going to drop to levels not seen since the 1950s, has hit these small businesses hard, given the enormous impact it will have on their staff, volunteers, customers and all members of their community.