Birmingham expert calls on Chancellor to ensure Midlands businesses continue to grow during Brexit uncertainty

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The Chancellor needs to ensure his Budget delivers “real and focused investment” to help businesses grow during the Brexit uncertainty, a Birmingham expert says.

Philip Hammond. Picture: Chatham House

Philip Hammond. Picture: Chatham House

Philip Hammond used his Budget speech yesterday (29th October) to outline proposals to offer £900million of business rates relief to small companies and an additional £500million to help manage the UK’s exit from Europe.

But Simon O’Neill, managing partner for Ernst & Young in the Midlands, said the Chancellor needed to ensure growth of business in the Midlands wasn’t stifled.

He said: “The Budget was delivered exactly five months before the UK is due to exit the EU and focused on putting an end to austerity.

“The Midlands has been through a huge transformation and is primed for further economic growth buoyed investments in transport with HS2 on the horizon, the drive to build 215,000 homes by 2031 and 5G technology putting the region at the cutting edge of innovation.

“Businesses across the Midlands now need real and focused investment if business growth is to be fostered, and despite Brexit uncertainty, it’s critical that investment in infrastructure, innovation and enterprise are delivered to keep the Midlands open for business and build on the foundation for future success.”

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