Posted by

Kamala Mackinnon, Campaigns Adviser

22 Jun 2012

An article in today’s Telegraph described the data as a ‘snub’ to British business. Yet a 2011 survey carried out by ComRes for the BCC of more than 2,000 members of the British public showed the overwhelming majority of people believe that businesses are ‘good’ for Britain as long as they comply with the law, pay their taxes, and make a profit (82%). The survey also demonstrated that a majority of Britons believe local businesses play an important role in local communities (73%).

Business is a force for good. Business is critical to Britain’s future. And British Business is something to be proud of.

Over 23 million people are employed by the 4.5 million businesses in the UK. Business also invests in their future - total UK employer expenditure on training is estimated at £49bn, and 85,000 employers offer apprenticeships in more than 130,000 locations. Business is a positive force creating not only wealth and tax, but employment, skills, and training. Without a thriving private sector, our country and society would crumble, and the public services we all want would suffer as a result.

The sports teams or art institutions that make us proud to be British are all enabled by business. Without the mechanisms of business it is doubtful British culture would have achieved the accolades it has today. Many cultural institution understand they have a part to play in being ‘a business’ and helping add to the development of the UK plc. Just because it’s not made in a factory, does not mean it’s not part of the British Business community.

The Ipsos Mori poll also showed that just 28 per cent of adults could recall buying something other than food that was made or designed in the UK.  This is part of the wider misconception that we have in this country that ‘Britain doesn’t make anything anymore’. The UK is the seventh largest economy in the world, and the third-largest in the EU.  There are thousands of fantastic companies in Britain, both in manufacturing and services that bust this myth. From a business in East Lancashire that exports sand to Saudi Arabia to the westcountry ice cream manufacturer that exports its produce around the world, the chamber network is full of businesses that are working hard to grow and innovate, despite the challenging global conditions.
It’s time to get behind UK businesses, and show the value they add to our society every day. That’s why in 2012, our Business is Good for Britain campaign will help to highlight the ways that a strong and prosperous business community is good for our country and our society.