Sara’s Blog: Reaction to the Budget and smart meters

There is much to welcome in this Budget for the business community in Staffordshire – including the news that Stoke-on-Trent will get support for three projects which will bring to life the City Centre Masterplan.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak appears to have listened to Chambers’ long-standing calls for changes to the business rates system and this will be good news for many firms. This will provide much needed relief for businesses across the country, giving many firms renewed confidence to invest and grow. It is particularly good to see the hospitality sector getting some support in this area.

Additional investment in skills, infrastructure and better access to finance will be key drivers for our economic recovery and will provide longer-term benefits and opportunities for businesses across the country. It will be interesting to see how a Regional Angels network will benefit businesses here. And the news that digital and cloud investment will be able to gain from R&D Tax Credits is also good news.

However, businesses have been battered by 18 months of the pandemic and problems around supply chain costs and disruption, labour shortages, price rises, soaring energy bills and taxes and there may still be difficult months ahead. If firms face unexpected bumps in the road, the Chancellor must be prepared to take further action to enable the economy to fire on all cylinders again.

Growth forecasts of at least 6 percent for the next two years will offer new opportunities and you can be assured that the Chambers will be doing everything in our power to ensure that Staffordshire firms benefit from this growth.

If you have any issues arising from the Budget please contact us on 01782 202222 or


As COP 26 starts – with a flurry of activity and noise – it is also a good opportunity to review some simple ways to start the journey to minimising our damage to the climate.

We are promoting that businesses (and your staff members homes) will benefit from installing a smart meter. It allows businesses to wave goodbye to estimated billing by securely and automatically sending meter readings to your energy supplier – which is going to be more and more important to us all in the future. Getting accurate bills will help manage cashflow and budgeting, giving certainly of paying for exactly what you are using.


As Glasgow hosts COP26 this year it’s a good reminder of everyone’s responsibility to become more conscious of their environmental impact.  Regardless of whether your business has three employees, or three thousand, we all should be aware of how much energy we’re using, and a smart meter is a step in the right direction.  From the moment your smart meter is installed, you’re helping create a smart energy system which could ultimately help reduce all our carbon emissions.


A smart meter is a positive step in taking control of business outgoings and if your firm has 10 employees or less your business could be eligible for a smart meter.


To find out more please email: You can also contact your energy supplier or broker.  It could be one of the best calls you make this week.


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


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