THIS week the local business community geared up to hear Chancellor Phillip Hammond deliver the last budget of the year.

Amidst a period of political uncertainty, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) thanked the Chancellor for responding directly to calls to support the business community who are struggling with business rates, the Annual Investment Allowance and the new Apprenticeship Levy.

The budget is largely enterprise driven, with the hopes to encourage start-ups within the UK and is an important move for smaller businesses across the country. The Chancellor’s announcements have been largely welcomed by businesses in the two counties, and have sent positive signals to companies by avoiding major increases to business tax to fund the government’s spending priorities.

The budget also brought some welcome news for businesses in the West Midlands. After the success of Worcestershire’s bid for government funding earlier this year for the new 5G test-bed, the West Midlands Combined Authority has seen an investment of £70 million in the UK Mobility Data Institute, and the 2022 Common Wealth Games in Birmingham will receive an investment of £165 million.

Following the Chancellor’s budget, the Chamber was delighted to host its “Budget Buster Breakfast” in association with Bishop Fleming, to discuss how the statement will affect the local business community. Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce will continue to support firms in the two counties and lobby on key issues identified through our Quarterly Economic Surveys (QES).

The final QES for 2018 will launch on Tuesday, November 6, and I would like to encourage local firms to have their say by taking part.

Results from the QES are used to create the Chamber’s annual Business Manifesto, and will outline the key policy objectives for the following year.

To find out more information, please contact Daisie Rees-Evans, policy executive, on