Strategic Growth Survey results published
The first Strategic Growth Survey report is now available. The report provides a six-monthly snapshot of business optimism and looks specifically at the obstacles that businesses face and how these change over time.
The LEP Strategic Growth Programme survey is a new source of intelligence on the regional economy.
The intelligence uses feedback from the businesses working with the Oxford Innovation Advice team to provide a snapshot of business conditions, challenges and support requirements. The aim is to generate evidence on business confidence and to offer insights into how future support can be tailored to be as effective as possible.
Summary of results
- The survey took place during the early autumn of 2021 after most of the restrictions imposed because of Covid were lifted. As a result, it is not surprising that businesses, particularly micro businesses, in the service sectors, were very optimistic about their prospects over the next 12 months. The outlook has fluctuated significantly over the past 18 months and will continue to do so.
- This optimism is reflected in the levels of anticipated growth and recruitment over the next year.
- 63% expect growth of more than 10%
- 26% expect to grow employment by more than a quarter
- The tight labour market that has emerged after the pandemic is seen as the biggest challenge. A quarter of the businesses cited challenges in recruiting staff as the single biggest obstacle to growth, along with the wider general economic conditions, and access to finance remains an important obstacle.
- Reflecting this, business support for recruitment and training, supporting innovation and investment in technology, and access to finance are among the main areas where they considered support to be most needed. There was less demand for support with reducing environmental impact or with supply chain management.
- 80% of businesses currently have no plan to become more environmentally sustainable. This is higher than the British Chamber of Commerce Survey which found that two thirds (64%) of businesses do not currently have an environmental sustainability policy. Half of these business plan to develop one in the next 12 months and a further quarter were unsure.
- The results suggest that environmental sustainability is a relatively low priority for businesses and while many plan to address this, there is likely to be considerable uncertainty about what needs to be done.
The Strategic Growth Programme is designed and delivered by Oxford Innovation Advice on behalf of Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Leeds City Region Growth Deal - a £1 billion package of Government investment to accelerate growth and create jobs across the Leeds City Region.