BUSINESS leaders in Huddersfield have called for more government support to help firms “spearhead” the economic recovery.
The Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce made the plea for “positive intervention” as it unveiled the findings of its economic survey of member firms in Kirklees, Calderdale and Wakefield.
The survey for the three months to September showed a slide in export sales and order books, continued pressure on cash flow and falling employment for the third quarter in a row.
Although firms remained optimistic about improving turnover and profits, there were major concerns about overheads, the cost of raw materials, taxation, inflation and exchange rates.
Steven Leigh, chamber head of policy, said: “While some of our results indicate a level of optimism about the future, it is clear that the recovery will be a long hard slog.
“Sales and order book figures remain bumpy and inconsistent and have not shown any real growth since the end of 2009.”
Government intervention would be needed to create a climate for business which would increase confidence and encourage growth.
The Lockwood-based chamber repeated calls for more support for exporters; greater tax incentives for manufacturers to undertake research and development and invest in plant and machinery; the speeding up of major construction projects and efforts to ensure that finance reaches small and medium-sized businesses.