Harlow businesses respond to chancellor’s budget announcements

Business / Thu 17th Nov 2022 at 03:09pm

WITH the chancellor of the exchequer, Jeremy Hunt issuing his November statement, YH is inviting Harlow businesses’ to respond.

Firstly, Emma Robson of Stort Valley Spirits

AS a small, Harlow based company, it is disappointing that today’s budget announcement doesn’t specifically offer support to small businesses, particularly around the energy costs, which has a direct impact on not just our own costs, but our entire supply chain. 

The increase in National Minimum Wage won’t have an impact on us – we already pay Real Living Wage and will continue to do this.  However, the freeze on the NI threshold will increase our staffing costs. As a business, we want to offer employment to local people and support the local economy but these 2 significant factors pose a real problem, increasing our overall cost and squeezing margins which are already tight.

“In the past year alone, our shipping costs have more than doubled and several stockists and producers we work with have had to close their doors.  This is something that many are seeing throughout Harlow and the surrounding area.  The confirmation of what we knew already; that we are in a recession is likely to make our customers more cautious in their spending which in turn will make it difficult to raise prices and pass on those extra costs.  This doesn’t give us an environment in which we can easily grow our business.

“Freezing business rates, although positive for many, is not the help it seems for others.  We don’t have a high street shop front because the current business rates are so high that it wouldn’t be viable, so we have to continue operating from a small office.  Without a fundamental review of the business rate system, our high streets will continue to die – you only have to look at places like the town centre to see this.”.

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3 Comments for Harlow businesses respond to chancellor’s budget announcements:

David Forman
2022-11-17 15:25:06

Story Valley Spirits should be congratulated for "we already pay Real Living Wage and will continue to do this". Goof luck to them for the future.

2022-11-17 17:21:06

Tax is now approx 50% of gdp. Historically it is 35%-37%. How is this going to attract investment. How are businesses going to grow when their wafer thin profits are now going in tax. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, yet the gov has always taken them for granted. Without a profitable business sector there is no NHS or welfare system.

2022-11-17 19:05:46

Good News! Not widely reported, but buried in the accompanying documents released alongside Hunt’s statement this afternoon, was the news that the surcharge on bank profits will actually be cut from the planned 8% to 3% next year. That means more than a billion pounds in tax savings for banks every single year. I, for one, am very relieved that not only are half-starved bankers are getting the bonuses they deserve, but the banks themselves are also getting a well deserved tax cut. Let's face it, someone has to pay for the fraud and errors in Rishi Sunak’s schemes to help businesses and individuals during the COVID pandemic, estimated to be between £14 and £22 billion. It's not like this government will be bothered to recoup any of these losses, and certainly not get the banks to pay for their incompetence.

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