• John Longworth will address the British Chambers of Commerce’s Annual Conference at Central Hall, Westminster at 10.00 GMT
  • “Never before has it been more important that government is prepared to be bold and take radical action.”

Today (Thursday), the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) will hold its Annual Conference in Central London. Addressing businesses and chambers of commerce from across the country, BCC Director General, John Longworth will call for the government to set business free and give firms the chance to make Britain great.

In addition to highlighting the ways business is good for Britain, John Longworth will underline the barriers firms face when trying to do business every day - from lacklustre infrastructure, a complex planning system, difficulties accessing finance, to overregulation. The business chief will celebrate the enterprising culture in the UK, but ask for ‘radical solutions’ to stimulate business growth, which will in turn drive economic recovery.

In his conference speech today (Thursday) John Longworth will say:

“We have fantastic businesses in Britain. Businesses that export flat screen TVs to China, ice cream to Norway, clocks to Switzerland, scarves to Russia and soft drinks to Africa. All of these businesses are busting a gut to grow, create wealth, employ people and find new markets for export. They are more optimistic than the media would have us believe, but they do need more support.

“In Britain, we have an impossible planning regime which prevents our development and growth. Add to this, terrible infrastructure which adds cost and dumbs down economic activity; a shortage of people with the right soft and technical skills; our young people failed by the education system; and a Whitehall machine that knows nothing of how a business really operates - and cares less.
Never before has it been more important that government is prepared to be bold and take radical action. George Osborne has an opportunity in the Budget, less than one week away, to improve the business environment.

“We live in trying times and these dictate innovative and radical solutions. So my message to the government is simple:

Set business free

Let business help

Stimulate private investment

Create access to capital

Incentivise the productive sector

Let the economy rip, and stop pussy footing around.

We have great businesses in Britain, give them a chance to make Britain great.”


Notes to editors:

Hashtag for BCC’s Annual Conference: #bcc2012

For more details on the BCC’s budget submission: http://bit.ly/wTX7H8

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) is the national voice of local business.

The BCC sits at the heart of a powerful nationwide network of Accredited Chambers of Commerce, serving over 100,000 businesses across the UK, which employ over five million people. For more information visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk

Media contacts:

Liz Larvin
Tel: 020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
Email: l.larvin@britishchambers.org.uk

Lisa Morrison
Tel: 020 7654 5812 / 07717682221
Email: l.morrison@britishchambers.org.uk