MORE than 1,000 businesses in Dudley shut their doors for good in 2022, new figures show.

In his autumn statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced a range of tax cuts to aid businesses.

This included making a tax break allowing firms to cut their bills if they invest in new equipment permanent, in what he claimed was the "biggest business tax cut in modern history".

Think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research said the rising number of closing businesses is a "potential warning sign for the British economy", blaming high energy costs and the end of coronavirus pandemic support schemes.

Office for National Statistics figures show around 1,375 businesses in Dudley ceased trading in 2022 – down from 1,490 the year before.

Some 11,455 businesses were active last year, meaning the 'business death rate' – the percentage of businesses that closed – has fallen to 12 per cent.

This is marginally below the 'business birth rate' – the percentage of businesses that began trading – of 12.1 per cent, with around 1,390 created last year.

Dr George Dibb, head of the IPPR's Centre for Economic Justice, said company closures were inevitable with “high energy costs combined with the end of pandemic support schemes” and he added: “It might signify that greater business support would have maintained higher economic activity."

Mr Hunt also announced the standard multiplier for rates on high-value properties will increase in line with inflation, while the small business multiplier will freeze for a further year.

The 75 per cent business rates discount for retail, hospitality and leisure will also be extended for another year.

Dr Dibb also highlighted regional inequalities in business development.

London and the south east are the only regions with an above-average number of high-growth firms.

Dr Dibb added: "If we want to reduce regional economic inequality and 'level up', we need to see more of these booming companies in every part of the country."