Posted by

Justin Urquhart Stewart, Co-Founder, Seven Investment Management

12 Feb 2015

What a day! Congratulations to the British Chambers of Commerce team for a cracking day at the QEII. Most industry events are an excuse for tedious speakers and tepid coffee. However, this year's BCC conference was different.

If there was one key takeaway from the day that encouraged me, it was that despite that fact that we are weeks away from the general election, the major parties all seem to have a level of agreement on the main business initiatives. Hopefully we will have some level of consistency, and not chopping and changing just for the sake of it. So just maybe they are getting their acts together?

Additionally from talking to other conference attendees, I found how encouraged they are by how things have been developing - but that was almost despite most of the politicians rather than because of them. Yes, I think the coalition can reflect on some good initiatives around the British Business Bank and more trade funding, but it is still all too small and too late. Frankly when we have record low rates for the cost of investment money, why aren't they making the most of it by investing in the future of our country?

After all we had a British Business Bank in 1945 as well as 45 stock exchanges, but we lost them through ignorance and apathy - we must make sure that doesn't happen again.

What we must remember is that although the politicians will come and speak to us, especially when there is an election, they need us as the entrepreneurs and dynamos of the British economy. Without businesses creating the jobs, the turnover and the profit, they will have nothing to spend - well not so much at any rate.

Time to remember the three key numbers that reflect on our success so far:

5 - we are the fifth largest economy in the world (oh yes and we were sixth last year)
8 - we are the eighth largest exporter in the world
10 - we are the tenth largest manufacturer in the world

Much better numbers than any lottery ticket in my view.

Well done British Chambers of Commerce!

All views expressed in guest blogs are that of the authors, and not of the British Chambers of Commerce