Business leaders in Bristol have called for urgent action after it was revealed that the depth of recession is much worse than feared.
Official figures published yesterday revealed that the UK's economy has shrunk for the third quarter in a row making the double dip recession the worst in 50 years.
Phil Smith, the man in charge of Bristol's Chamber of Commerce, believes strong leadership is now needed from the Government.
He said: "Our latest business surveys and indicators show that business, both locally and nationally, are struggling on a number of fronts. However, the extent of the fall is much bigger than expected and is a matter for immediate concern.
"Businesses on the ground tell us it is demand and local spending which is in need of stimulation. Ministers can not expect firms to grow if they fail to take a long-term approach to creating an enterprise-friendly environment. Strong leadership and imagination is what is needed at the top to steer Britain's recovery away from a double-dip recession.
"Government must go further on measures to promote infrastructure investment, address the ongoing issue of finance availability and commit to meaningful deregulation."
Gerry Jones, chairman of the Institute in Bristol, added: "The figures are a severe blow to business. The Eurozone countries show we absolutely cannot afford to waver from the deficit-reduction programme, but there are several steps the Government must take to boost the economy through supply-side reforms.
"New infrastructure projects financed by our low interest rates, proper relaxation of planning and employment red tape, and action to lower energy costs for manufacturers would all show Britain means business.
"Too often, programmes are moving ahead at glacial speed. To help unlock corporate cash piles, Government needs to show decisive leadership and a sense of purpose."
PUBLICATION: South West Business - 26 July 2012