Chancellor wins Chamber praise

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Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has given a much needed boost to British business, according to Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

Commenting on the Chancellor’s autumn statement, Chamber executive director Richard Wright said: “This is a relatively positive statement for business, touching on tax burdens, exports, infrastructure, enterprise and apprenticeships, as well as providing specific support to the retail sector.

“By revising up growth forecasts from 1.8 percent to 2.4 percent for 2014, we should provide a needed confidence boost to companies.

“The Government is aiming for growth to be at 2.7 percent by 2018 and while we should be aiming higher than this, it will provide the stability business owners need when looking to invest in the future.”

Mr Wright welcomed the Government’s decision to double export finance to £50 billion to help increase international trade with growing emerging markets around the world and measures to boost retailers during the crucial Christmas and New Year period.

“The discount to retail premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000 will be excellent news for many, as will the reduction by half of business rates for new occupiers,” said Mr Wright.

“This will assist more independents to be developed across the city region in 2014.

“The cap on the rise of business rates to two percent is another step in the right direction, as to is the 12-month extension on the small business rates relief and the cancellation of next year’s fuel duty rise.”

Mr Wright urged the Government to deliver the new initiatives quickly so that growth forecasts are met.