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The political parties must act to put economic growth at the forefront

We’ve been hearing plenty of pledges from the political parties about reviving the UK economy during the annual party conference season.

Without a doubt, there has been more evidence about businesses feeling increasingly confident about investment, and that leads to an increase of commercial activity.

As part of an accredited British Chamber network, we need the parties to put economic growth at the forefront and address some key issues.

That means ensuring we have a strong infrastructure in place for businesses and support for small and medium-sized firms wishing to trade overseas.

Without large–scale investment in infrastructure, businesses would not be able to function. Government investment gives businesses confidence to invest themselves and this in turn creates jobs and wealth.

Northamptonshire Chamber would like to see some form of commitment from the parties on shifting the focus from current to capital spending to ensure the UK’s infrastructure is fit for purpose for the long-term.

Businesses need help to recognise their global potential so they can tap into foreign markets. In order for this to happen we’d like to see a drastic culture change on international trade to ensure an export-led recovery.

As a nation, we spend only 0.05% of GDP on promoting British goods and services overseas, and attracting investment to our shores.

We need to make a real difference to the way we help our businesses become more global. How would the parties make promoting exports a top priority, and what would it do to support businesses looking to trade overseas?

In Britain, we have a deep-seated youth employment and training problem however Northamptonshire Chamber believes businesses have a valuable input in raising the skills levels and aspirations across the workforce.

Businesses need to be engaged at an earlier stage so young people know what opportunities are available to them.

The Chamber would like see how the parties would address this so we can equip young people with the skills to benefit current and future industries.

Rather than be hit by ever-increasing costs brought on by regulation and taxes, we need to create an environment in which businesses can thrive and that includes providing more access to finance.

What would each party do differently to ensure businesses can compete and create wealth?

If Britain is to compete with the best economies of the world, politicians must work closely with business and focus on long-term gain rather than short-term headlines.

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