Employers’ views on Leicestershire business outlook will be published this week

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Current LLEP Chair Nick Pulley

A new survey capturing the views of more than 1,000 employers about the current business landscape in the Leicester and Leicestershire is to be launched at a business briefing event next week.

The Leicester and Leicestershire Business Survey, which will be officially launched at the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership’s Business Breakfast Briefing on Thursday 15th February, will play a vital role in contributing to the LLEP’s priorities for 2018 and onwards.

More than 1,000 employers across the LLEP area were interviewed by telephone in August to October of 2017 for the business survey. Key findings include:

  • In the last 12 months 52% of respondents had increased their sales turnover and seven out of ten (69%) businesses said that they expect their sales turnover to increase in the next 12 months.
  • Forty six percent of businesses had seen an increase in their profits in the last 12 months and seven out of ten (71%) businesses said that they expect their profits to increase over the coming year.
  • Thirty seven percent of all businesses said they were expecting to employ more staff in the next 12 months.  In the Manufacturing sector this was 47%.
  • In the last 12 months 34% of businesses started offering new products or services. In the next 12 months, 39% of businesses are expecting to offer new products or services.

Nick Pulley, LLEP Chair said: “This survey is a valuable evidence base that provides a snapshot of the Leicester and Leicestershire business landscape. It delivers a robust source of intelligence that helps us plan and acts as a tool that underpins our strategic thinking and the local economic strategy.”

“The significance of the Leicester and Leicestershire Business Survey has heightened over the last eighteen months and is of particular importance in a time of uncertainty leading up to and beyond the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU. The survey allows us to continue our conversation with businesses of all sizes and sectors to understand their challenges but more importantly their ambitions and the opportunities for growth.”

“The LLEP will continue to work with key partners to create the right conditions for business growth. This will allow our businesses to flourish and help to attract investment into Leicester and Leicestershire.”

Key findings from the survey show that the Leicester and Leicestershire economy is resilient and that, despite many of the question marks that have arisen since the decision to leave the EU, the local business community is looking forwards and not backwards.

City mayor Peter Soulsby said: “We’re proud of our recent record for attracting jobs and investment into the city.  This report is a valuable reminder of how far we have come and highlights what we need to focus on to ensure continued economic success for the city.”

Leicestershire County Council leader, Nick Rushton, said: “We welcomed the opportunity to be a key partner in the business survey, which provides invaluable insight on recent economic activity and performance and potential future business prospects.

“Helping maximise every opportunity for developing and delivering economic growth, in particular at a time of real business uncertainty, remains a priority.  We’re committed to continuing to create jobs and secure investment opportunities so we can secure greater prosperity for Leicestershire, and make sure the county remains firmly open for business.”

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said: “It is vital that firms take part in consultations so that reports such as this one can influence and shape the approach of the LLEP ensuring it speaks informatively on their behalf, just as it’s vital that all businesses complete the Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Surveys so that the Chamber can accurately represent the views of its members and other businesses to MPs regionally and in Westminster.

“Without this feedback, neither the Chamber nor the LLEP can positively lobby to ensure Government recognises the strengths of Leicester, Leicestershire and the wider region and its contribution to the national economy, nor can we campaign successfully for, for example, better connectivity, increased infrastructure spend or faster broadband.”

The Business Survey is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and created in partnership with the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP), Leicestershire County Council, Leicester City Council and the East Midlands Chamber.