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Chamber says businesses have been ignored

The country needs future government leaders to build “real links” with their business communities after being ignored during Brexit uncertainty.

That's the demand that's part of a General Election Manifesto launched by Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC).

And a Chamber member warned that the future of their business was in “serious jeopardy” after the way “uncertainty, procrastination and political in-fighting” over Brexit had impacted following 37 years of successful trading.

Business Priorities: General Election 2019 has been developed by the GBCC in consultation with the Chamber Council, the body elected from the membership to steer policy and campaigning activity. It also backs the British Chambers of Commerce national campaigns on Brexit, people development, infrastructure, international trade, business costs and investment. It can be downloaded here.

On a local level, priorities include:

Paul Faulkner, chief executive of the GBCC, said: “Our manifesto calls for interventions on a number of key areas for businesses. But most importantly, it urges our future leaders to end Brexit uncertainty and reconnect with the business community. It was designed with our Chamber Council to ensure it fully reflects the priorities of our members.

“We hear from too many businesses who feel their needs and those of the people they employ and communities that they sustain have been ignored during this unprecedented period. Above all, we urge politicians of all parties to build real links and relationships with your local business community both through the Chamber and the employers in your constituency. This country cannot grow, prosper or even simply sustain itself without businesses.”

The Chamber supplied a quote from a member who, speaking anonymously, said “Having been a vulnerable bystander during the past three years while Parliament tries to find a solution to Brexit, I find myself trying to search for a way for our MPs to understand how all the uncertainty, procrastination and political in-fighting has affected our small family business of 37 successful years of trading. 

“We have over 40 people employed directly with us, some with over 30 years of service. That is over 40 families reliant on my husband and I for their livelihood. That is now seriously in jeopardy.  

“My plea is that over the next few weeks of political rallying, candidates think about the type of language used. We have enough divisions in our country. My hope is that whoever wins the election thinks about our little company and our 40 employees and puts a stop to this uncertainty as quickly as possible. I suspect I speak for thousands of businesses like ourselves and just hope we are around to see the outcome.”

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