Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Challenges remain but businesses confident about future, LLEP survey shows

  An ongoing pulse survey monitoring the experience of businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire during the Pandemic has found that respondents are increasingly confident about the future.

Almost 9 in 10 businesses said they were feeling positive when surveyed by the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) in the latest wave of its Business Tracker.

The responses from the third survey in the series, which was completed before Christmas, have now been compiled. The LLEP is continuing to monitor the views of business on key issues within the local, national and international economy as Covid restrictions further ease this week.

The LLEP has been tracking the experience of local businesses since December 2020, with the aim of using frontline responses to inform local policy and target support where it is needed most.

Kevin Harris, Chair of the LLEP Board, said latest survey results showed cautious optimism among businesses in Leicester and Leicestershire, but added that external uncertainty meant that recovery remained delicate.

“The message we took from the survey is that business is increasingly confident about the longer-term but faces a disrupted shorter-term which, for some, may mean continuing adaptation,” he said.

“Big themes in the external environment, such as the Pandemic and the ongoing effect of transition from the EU, continue to combine with threats in our employers’ microenvironments, including disrupted supply chains, recruitment gaps and the balance around hybrid working.

“We also need to remember the factors of inflation and cost of living, which have developed since the third survey was completed. All of these are challenges which will have to be managed over the next 12 months.

“That said, it’s encouraging to see businesses continuing to move towards sustainability, digital technology and inclusive working. 

“It’s also encouraging to see how optimistic our employers are about the future, despite the challenges of the last couple of years.”

More than 100 local small and medium-sized businesses, from all sectors and from across city and county, took part in the third wave of surveys attached to the Covid-19 Business Tracker.

Responses are used to monitor local business confidence, identify support needs, examine how SMEs are adapting to enforced change, and provide evidence for future funding bids.

The survey also feeds into the LLEP’s Economic Growth Strategy 2021-30, which plans a decade of regional development based on the four pillars of innovation, inclusion, productivity and sustainability.

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