ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The ALMR has been highlighting for more than a year how costs for businesses are rising. The BCC’s report states exactly that, and is a welcome addition to our own efforts to highlight how the Government must be wary rising costs jeopardising businesses growth.
“The 22017 ALMR Christie & Co Benchmarking Report shows operating costs in the eating and drinking out sector rising above 50% of turnover for the first time. If this trend of rising costs continues, many businesses will struggle.
“The BCC’s report identifies employment costs as a significant concern, with the Apprenticeship Levy and rising wage rates as particularly worrisome. Increases to minimum wage rates can be very good for our staff members and customers, but these increases must consider the economic outlook for businesses, not be politically mandated and must be affordable.
“The Government could begin to tackle this problem by starting with a complete overhaul of a business rates system that is heaping costs on businesses and undermining confidence and investment.”