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Gloucestershire Business News

National summit needed to save 'Christmas supplies'

The government needs to convene a national summit to tackle supply chain issues in order to save Christmas, a business group says.

Businesses across the board have been hit by supply chain problems in recent months.

The British Camber of Commerce says urgent action is needed to ensure the situation does not get worse.

Data from the Office for National Statistics' Business Insights and Conditions Survey shows that in the last two weeks, almost one in five businesses were either not able to get the materials, goods or services they needed from within the UK, or changed suppliers, or found alternative solutions, to do so.

Construction was worst affected overall with 8.1% not able to get what they wanted and a further 28% reporting they had to change suppliers or find alternative solutions.

Accommodation and food services were also badly affected with 10.9% unable to get what they needed and a further 16.1% having to source elsewhere.

William Bain, Head of Trade Policy at the BCC, said: "This data backs up our own findings that the supply chain has been facing persistent challenges for the last few months.

"It is no surprise that more than one in three trading businesses have experienced problems in sourcing materials, goods and services at home, or had to change suppliers.

"Over the last 18 months, our own research has also illustrated the unprecedented impacts on revenue, cash flow and international trade.

"As recently as Q2 2021, we found that nearly 3 in 4 exporters reported no sales growth.

"Around half of construction sector firms also cited 'inflation' as more of an issue to their business than the previous quarter.

"Other issues picked up included commodity shortages, skills shortages, new costs to international trade, and insecurity of supply chains

"This is further strong evidence that the UK Government should convene a summit with key business organisations and firms to consider the short and long-term solutions. The supply chain disruption must not be allowed to worsen over the next few months in the run up to Christmas."

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