Clear thinking is crucial to economy

Bar staff Matt Shaw and Megan McEnroe at Drift on Hayling Island

Old boathouse offers cocktails with a twist and views over the sea

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AN across-the-board freeze on business rates, fairer payment terms for supply-chain firms and the importance of effective political lobbying were among issues raised at Hampshire Chamber of Commerce’s annual conference.

More than 120 delegates representing services, manufacturing and creative industries attended the Talking Business event to debate and hear expert analysis of the business scene.

Guest speaker Dr Adam Marshall, director of policy and external affairs at British Chambers of Commerce, called on politicians of all parties to focus on long-term business support to grow the economy and avoid short-term populist fixes.

He pointed to growing optimism in chamber member surveys but criticised the government’s Help to Buy scheme for prospective home owners. He also claimed Labour’s proposed cap on energy prices would simply stall investment in the sector.

Dr Marshall said: ‘There is a long way to go to get this economy firing on all cylinders and what we need is “long-termism” and clear thinking.

‘It’s not about short term mortgage or energy policies, it’s about us as a business community going out and telling politicians to think long-term.’