Chamber sets out priorities for 2024

Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce has identified four key priorities for 2024 as part of its ‘Where Business Belongs’ campaign with the British Chambers of Commerce to support its members and build a stronger local economy.

As the only countywide chamber accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Kent Invicta has reaffirmed its commitment to working in partnership with local businesses and local authorities to lobby the national government to help tackle economic growth, skills and employment, trade and net zero.

The campaign’s aim is to work in partnership to build British business, promoting the investment in people for a more prosperous economy; raising export-led growth and ensuring the UK becomes a leader in green innovation.

Tudor Price, chief executive of Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce, said: “The county has a justifiably strong reputation for working in partnership, and with the economy under significant pressure with growth at best sluggish, there is a need for urgent action to support and safeguard local firms.

“The politicians are limbering up for a General Election and so the time is right to influence our policy makers to back business, regardless of their political persuasion. If we are to kickstart the economy, we must continue to work in partnership.”

A key part of the ask of government involves investing in infrastructure, with Kent Invicta continuing to support plans for the new Lower Thames Crossing, upgrading of the M2 to Dover, and the return of Eurostar services from the international stations at Ashford and Ebbsfleet.

Shevaun Haviland, director general of the BCC, added: “The economy thrives when business and politicians work in partnership. These four priorities will unlock the power of British business and increase economic growth which benefits everyone.

“A better planning system, a flexible apprenticeship levy, strengthened UK-EU co-operation and a dramatic grid upgrade are all needed urgently if we are to grow the UK economy.

“The European Union remains our closest trading partner. We need to see UK-EU relations strengthened to benefit the tens of thousands of exporters here. As the closest place in the UK to mainland Europe, Kent is perfectly placed to rise to the challenge.

“All too often, businesses are squeezed out of towns and cities as good land is given over to housing. Local communities thrive when businesses are at their heart.

“Those businesses need skilled workers, and a flexible apprenticeship levy will make sure employers can give staff the training they need.

“The transition to net zero presents businesses with opportunities to grow. But access to the national grid is a huge headache for trailblazing utility companies. We need to make sure there is sufficient network capacity and flexibility for modern energy needs.

“Action on these key issues will make a dramatic difference for the tens of thousands of businesses we represent. British firms need action, certainty and clarity from politicians – now more than ever.”

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