Tough times continue for Northants retail

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THERE was an appeal to Government this week on behalf of Northants business for assistance managing growth and cash flow

The appeal came after Northants Chamber of commerce published is quarterly economic survey which showed retailers were bearing the brunt of the economic down turn. However survey also showed manufacturing businesses were continuing to recover with 90 per cent of the county’s manufacturers reporting they have either kept all of their employees or increased their workforce during the second quarter.

By contrast the service sector saw a 10 per cent increase in the number of firms reporting a fall in sales. There was also a 20 per cent increase in the number of service sector firms reporting cash flow problems which they attribute to the recent bank holidays and late payment.

Chamber chief executive Paul Grffiths is worried about the fortunes of service companies. He said cashflow problems would have been helped by the increase in VAT to 20 per cent and continuing rise in costs. He added: There must be more that the Government can do to help these businesses to grow enough to create jobs and work at full capacity again.”