The British Chambers of Commerce is calling on the Chancellor to cancel his planned business rate rise in next week’s Budget.
The BCC said George Osborne has to “pull out all the stops” to enable businesses to grow, and claimed there was enough “wiggle room” to scrap the proposed 5.6 per cent increase.
Firms must be offered incentives to invest through a capital allowances scheme and encouraged to take on young people, it added.
BCC director general John Longworth said: “The Chancellor must stick to Plan A, but use the wiggle room he has to scrap the 5.6 per cent business rate rise that will cripple many businesses.
“He can either take bold steps to create growth in the economy by introducing measures to support business, or shy away and face the spectre of economic stagnation.”
The BCC also called for a significant speeding up of employment law and planning system reforms, adding that regulations should be slashed and access to finance improved to prevent choking economic recovery.
Mr Longworth added: “Firms need an environment in which they can thrive, create jobs, and export our goods and services abroad.
“Without a strong and prosperous private sector, we will be unable to provide the public services we all want or need.”