Council bosses to plead for more government support for Hartlepool businesses

Councillors are to write to the Government to call for more support to be provided to businesses to help them deal with rising costs and inflation.

It came after Hartlepool Borough Council officers provided an update on the economic picture facing the town.

Councillors on the economic growth and regeneration committee raised concerns over the impact on businesses of uncapped utility tariffs, impacting gas and electric costs, and increasing supplier fees.

Cllr Mike Young, chair of the committee, after raising his worries over the issues, proposed writing to the relevant Secretary of State to call for more Government support to be provided.

Hartlepool Borough Council has discussed the ongoing challenges facing businesses across town.

Speaking at this week’s meeting, he said: “We need to be pressuring the Secretary of State in a way that highlights the difficulties that businesses are having.

“It’s one thing saying businesses should be resilient, but businesses can’t be resilient if everything is against them.”

He added the letter should also be sent to the town’s MP Jill Mortimer to help encourage conversations around national support for organisations.

Cllr Pamela Hargreaves added businesses are seeing prices rise “right across the board”.

She said: “Every business is suffering, not just for their own running costs, but the costs that are then put up from all their suppliers, it’s a double whammy.”

Israr Hussain, council economic growth manager, noted the main concerns raised to them from businesses in Hartlepool are “fuel costs, energy and supplier costs, and skills shortages”.

He added: “They’re just so busy just trying to survive.”

Looking ahead to the future, councillors highlighted the Tall Ships Races coming to Hartlepool next year as a chance to provide a boost to businesses both big and small in the borough.

Denise McGuckin, council managing director, said: “This is a massive opportunity for Hartlepool, and we really need to focus on what we do well.”

It came after a report from officers highlighted the area’s employment rate has remained stable at 68.6% over the last two quarters of 2021, following a growth of 1% from June to September.

However they also noted visitor numbers to Hartlepool dropped from 3.72million in 2019 to 1.52million in 2020, due to the impact of lockdown and Covid-19.

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