Planning for the Future

The government has today published its ‘Planning for the Future’ white paper and associated consultation to reform the planning system.

BCC Head of People Policy Jane Gratton says that businesses will welcome efforts to accelerate the planning and development of new homes, business premises and local amenities, but “as well as delivering more new homes, the system must give access to affordable employment land and premises to support business innovation, expansion, and long-term competitiveness.”

See our full response here and please do share via Twitter and LinkedIn.

Getting Building Fund

The Govt has announced its £1.3bn “Getting Building Fund”, which includes 300 shovel-ready projects in England receiving funding, investment to deliver 26,000 new homes and some more detail on the Green Homes Grant Scheme.

Please note the full list of projects is yet to be added to the government website but we will share a link when published. The announcement can be found here.

Letter from the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster to Exporters

The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Michael Gove MP, has written to businesses moving goods between the UK and the EU and between GB and NI, to help them prepare for the new trading relationship with the European Union following the end of the transition period. The letter ties in with the Government’s recently launched Check, Change, Go campaign and highlights practical steps businesses need to take to prepare for the coming changes.

Please do share the letter within your networks, where possible targeting this to businesses moving goods as described. We have agreed with the Cabinet Office that we will not be sharing the letter with media proactively.

A copy of the letter can be found here. It would be appreciated if you, or a member of your team, could confirm intention to distribute the letter and which channels you intend to use for this purpose by email to Adam Szpala.

New Small Business Leadership and Problem-solving Programmes

Two new leadership programmes to help small business leaders grow their companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic have been launched:


The Small Business Leadership Programme will equip business leaders with the confidence and leadership skills to plan for the future of their business, and ensure that they are in a great position to recover from the impacts of Coronavirus. Find out more and apply here.


The Peer Networks Programme will focus on helping business owners improve their problem-solving skills, through a series of guided exercises. Members of the programme will be given skills in areas such as leadership and management, sales and marketing, that they need to tackle these challenges head-on while growing their business. Find out more and apply here.


Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker

Yesterday we published the results of our latest Coronavirus Business Impact Tracker, which measures the impact on businesses and the effectiveness of the government response.

The results revealed that the schemes announced in the Summer Statement are failing to provide support at the scale needed to protect jobs after the furlough scheme winds down:

More than half of firms report cashflow decrease since June 2020;
43% of firms intend to use the Furlough Bonus, but other Summer Statement support schemes have low take up.

More details about the Tracker can be found here.


We held a further very productive meeting between Chambers and DWP on the Kickstart scheme, which will deliver fully-funded 6 month work placements at a total cost of £2 billion.

We think there is a potentially strong role for Chambers to support this work through grant funding from DWP, who are going to market in either late August or early September, and then in subsequent waves.

We have brought together a virtual group to look at how Chambers can work together to give all the best chance of succeeding, and will meet again next week. If you would like to be involved but presently aren’t please email us here.

‘Survival to revival’ – listen back to the webinar with Swoop

Listen back to the recording of the webinar with our friends from Swoop and hear from their CEO Andrea Reynolds on how businesses can finance their post-Covid recovery and protect their financial health. UK Chambers can share this link with your members.

Swoop is a BCC affinity partner and provides the Chamber Finance Finder platform, a tool for members which facilitates access to finance solutions that will protect their current and future financial health, including measures related to Coronavirus.

If you’d like to know more about the scheme and discuss how this could become part of your own member benefits contact Luke Flinders.