Chancellor must deliver a “Budget for business”
Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NI Chamber) is calling on the Chancellor to deliver a “Budget for business” on 19 March 2014.
Mark Nodder, President of NI Chamber, has urged the government to sign off a Budget that boosts business confidence and creates an environment for investment and growth.
Mr. Nodder said: “Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry is calling for measures that stimulate exports, encourages business growth and provides a fully functioning funding environment which supports that growth.
“There are a number of measures the Chancellor can implement including the expansion of support for companies exporting to overseas markets, the introduction of alternative (non-bank) sources of business growth finance and the extension of the Growth Voucher scheme to Northern Ireland.
“Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry makes a strong plea to the Chancellor that any of the business measures introduced in Budget 2014 are fit for purpose for Northern Ireland. Recent national initiatives, particularly those around finance, have not been tailored to meet the needs of Northern Ireland’s private sector.”
Measures called upon by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry are as follows:
- Expand support for companies exporting to overseas markets. Funding for developing the pipeline of SME exporters and in-market support should be increased – by doubling the value of trade support allocated to Northern Ireland.
- Introduce alternative (non-bank) sources of growth finance for businesses. Businesses should have access to a wider range of finance options and more extensive guidance on the most appropriate funding sources to meet their business needs.
- Extend the Growth Voucher scheme to small firms in Northern Ireland with ambitions to grow. Growth Vouchers (only available in England) could be used to obtain strategic advice on areas including managing cashflow, late payments and negotiating finance, developing skills and taking on staff, improving leadership and management, marketing, attracting and keeping customers and making the most of digital technology. Businesses could apply for up to £2,000 to help finance specialist businesses support.