Money Matters Forum Blog

Making sense of finances during the pandemic and beyond

A blog by Peter Graham

Chair of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce Money Matters Forum

With the year we have had there has been no shortage of topics to discuss at the Money Matters Forum.

The Jobs Retention Scheme and furlough, bounce back loans, CBILS, SEISS, restart grants and deferred VAT payments are just some financial initiatives thrown into the mix in the past year. Add in the November and March Budgets for good measure and it is easy to see why business needs more financial help and guidance than ever just to keep up.

I am honoured to hold the chair of the Money Matters Forum. I am a corporate tax partner at RSM, based at their Stoke office from where I head up the national capital allowances team.

I am ably supported by the Chamber’s Growth Hub funding advisor and grants and funding expert, Matt Hustwit.

We were delighted that Glyn Jones, Bank of England deputy agent for the West Midlands could join us at our last meeting. Glynn has been with the Bank of England for 10 years and prior to that was lead economist at the regional development agency, Advantage west Midlands.

Glyn led a discussion on the economy both current and future considering the pandemic. Whilst the easing of lockdown measures provides businesses with light at the end of the tunnel, members of the forum felt that continued support by the Government is essential until the economy is back to full capacity.

We also discussed the budget changes including the new capital allowance super-deduction which was welcomed by the forum. This should encourage capital investment by businesses in Staffordshire as lock down measures are eased.

The announcement of an increase in the corporation tax rate from 19 per cent to 25 per cent from April 2023 was expected, however protection of small businesses with the continuation of the 19 per cent rate for profits less than £50,000 was a welcome boost for small firms.

We are also fortunate to have Ryan Cartwright of the British Business Bank as a forum member. The British Business Bank is a government-owned business development bank dedicated to making finance markets work better for smaller businesses. They facilitate finance to start a business, grow to the next level, or to innovate and stay ahead of the competition.

Going forward the forum will be occupied by how firms are going to move on once all the government support comes to an end. We will continue to formulate our representation and lobbying activity to government as part of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) network.

We are always keen to welcome new forum members so that we have representation from all shapes and sizes of business in all sectors. We meet quarterly and meetings usually last for about two hours maximum.

If you would like to find out more about what we do or are considering joining the Money Matters Forum, please email Matt Hustwit:

If you want to talk about any business issues, you can call the Chambers switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

To join the Forum discussion click here Hot Topics — Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce

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