Yorkshire firms state priorities ahead of budget

Almost a quarter (23%) of businesses in Yorkshire want Chancellor Rishi Sunak to prioritise immediate reforms to business rates in Wednesday’s budget, according to insight from the Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking Business Barometer.

Improvements to highways and roads was cited the most by the region’s firms (66%), as the one thing they wanted the Government to prioritise under its plans to improve UK infrastructure.

Yorkshire firms also say they want to see further commitment on infrastructure with the delivery of Northern Powerhouse Rail (50%), improved local stopping rail services (46%) and devolved powers for city regions to run their own transport route (44%).

Investment or incentives to promote decarbonisation was cited by 42% as one of the main things businesses would like to see in the Budget.

Kelly Green, regional director for Yorkshire at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “Many are hoping that the Chancellor will announce a review into business rates in his speech, over the short or long-term. In addition, improvements to local rail services and devolved powers for transport would be a boost for many across the region, while bolstering the local economy.

“It’s also encouraging to see nearing half of firms keen to help promote decarbonisation. We have a dedicated line of funding, the Clean Growth Finance Initiative, offering discounted funding to businesses investing in green projects, should the Chancellor fall short of their wishes.”

Across the UK, greater reform to business rates was at the top of firms’ wish lists for the Chancellor (20%), with highway and road improvements being the top priority for infrastructure (68%).

The Business Barometer questions 1,200 businesses monthly and provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.

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