Sat 6th Jul 2013
NI Chamber President: the five bold moves that will unleash business growth in 2013
Following a year of stagnation, uncertainty, and continuing trade deficits, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce remains confident that business can make Northern Ireland dynamic again in 2013 and beyond – but only if the government delivers five changes to radically improve the business environment and deliver the confidence boost needed to kick-start growth.
1. Access to finance for growing companies
Last year the Chancellor re-confirmed his long-standing support for the creation of a dedicated British Business Bank. However businesses want reassurance that the Bank will live up to its billing as a major new player in British business growth, and they want a firm timetable in place for the Bank’s creation. Britain’s business finance system is dysfunctional and restrains growth and there is an urgent need for a patient business lender to give innovative, new and growing businesses, as well as those businesses in recovery, access to the levels of finance they need to grow and evolve. 2013 must be the year that the Business Bank begins the journey from the drawing board to the real world – as well as the year that greater competition in the rest of the banking sector opens up real new opportunities for SMEs to access growth capital.
2. Green light the delivery of large-scale infrastructure projects
The government must take more radical measures to improve and maintain business infrastructure. Public sector resources should be re-prioritised away from current spending towards jump-starting major infrastructure projects, which generate confidence in the short term, jobs in the medium term, and competitiveness in the long term. The Chancellor made an important start in 2012 by shifting