Over a third (36%) of businesses taking part in the region’s leading economic survey say better broadband speed and reliability is critical to future success.
A further 53% of firms completing the first East Midlands Chamber Quarterly Economic
Survey for 2018 cited good broadband as ‘very important’.
Only 2.4% of early respondents said it wasn’t important.
Broadband speed and reliability was the biggest single concern of regional businesses (89%), according analysis of mid-survey responses.
The second-biggest concern (69.5%) was mobile connectivity, closely followed by better roads (69.1%), business rates (66%) and red tape and regulation (62.5%).
Just over half of respondents (50.6%) expressed concerns over energy security while 45.3% said greater support for reducing energy costs and usage was either critical or very important.
A third of companies (33.9%) said support to develop a better corporate social responsibility (CSR) profile was either critical or very important to their future success, supporting evidence gathered by the Chamber over the past two years.
Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber, said: “These provisional results confirm what we’ve been telling Government for some time, that connectivity is vital to business success, whether its broadband, mobile telephony, roads, rail or air.
“We are already world-leaders when it comes to the technology that will drive the fourth industrial revolution but if we are to remain at the forefront of development in a post-Brexit global economy we must have the best connectivity, the fastest possible broadband, excellent mobile coverage, a 21st Century rail network, the best international air links and the roads as free from congestion as possible.”
The results from this Quarterly Economic Survey will help form the East Midlands Chamber’s Manifesto for Business for the year, which will be launched to MPs at Westminster later in the spring, and shape campaigns and lobbying activity for the rest of the year and beyond.
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