Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce Facilitates Crucial Dialogue with Bank of England Amidst Challenging Economic Landscape

Regional Business leaders gathered for the latest in a series of Bank of England briefings, hosted by the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce. These sessions provide an opportunity for businesses to directly communicate with the Bank’s representatives, shedding light on the effects of inflation and interest rates on local firms.


The virtual roundtable discussion took place against the backdrop of recent economic developments. Unemployment figures in the UK edged up from 4.2 percent to 4.3 percent during the three months leading to July. Concurrently, pay rates registered a notable increase of 8.1% compared to the same period the previous year, painting a complex economic picture that businesses are navigating.


Sean Rose, Head of Policy & Representation at the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, voiced the concerns shared by businesses in the region, stating, “Our conversations with companies across the region consistently highlight the multifaceted challenges they face in the current business environment. Whether a small start-up or a large enterprise employing hundreds, operating successfully has become increasingly challenging. Many of our members are grappling with labour market pressures, struggling to attract individuals with the right skill sets, resulting in persistently high wage inflation.”


Rose continued, “Furthermore, there is a subtle, yet noteworthy uptick in the unemployment rate. This trend, though modest, mirrors the economy’s response to consecutive interest rate increases. Business owners are grappling with a multitude of challenges, which is why we actively encourage them to reach out to the Chamber, whether they seek support for growth or strategies to ensure survival. The Chamber extends its heartfelt gratitude for the ongoing engagement provided by the Bank of England to businesses within our region.”


Kevin Rogers, Chair of  regional law firm Wilson Browne Solicitors, highlighted the importance of platforms like the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce during these turbulent economic times. Rogers remarked, “In the face of these economic challenges, businesses require platforms such as the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce to voice their concerns and seek much-needed support. The Bank of England’s dedication to actively engaging with local firms is commendable and fosters a collaborative environment. This collaborative approach should also be embraced by fiscal policy decision-makers.”


Rosie Smith, Bank of England Agent, stressed the significance of the Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce’s sessions, saying, “These sessions provide us with a unique opportunity to directly connect with regional business leaders. By gaining a first-hand understanding of how inflation and interest rates impact local firms, we can make more informed decisions that ultimately benefit our community. In times of economic turbulence, open dialogues such as these become even more critical.


If you missed this event, we’re running a Policy Hour: Q&A event with Rt. Hon. Dame Andrea Leadsom MP. Click here for more details. Members can book online or call us on 01908 733082 to book your free place.