Business confidence at six year high

View of city

Liverpool’s business confidence has reached its highest level since 2007 despite the continuing economic downturn, according to the latest city-wide business survey.

Liverpool’s annual business survey showed that the city’s friendliness, strong community spirit, liveliness and vibrancy have helped Liverpool to score highly as a place to do business. Business satisfaction increased from 6.78 to 6.96 out of ten.

Liverpool also scored highly as a place to do business, with 70 per cent of businesses giving the city a score of 4 or 5 out of a highest possible mark of 5.

A sample of 850 businesses who reflect the city’s geographic and industry sector mix, were asked about their perceptions of Liverpool as a place to do business.

Businesses in the region were shown to be resolutely positive about future growth with almost half (48 per cent) of the businesses surveyed stating that they expect their business to expand over the next two years, compared with 38 per cent last year.

The survey also showed that more than 73 per cent of those surveyed think that the UK economy will return to growth over five years and 79 per cent expect their own business to grow over the same time period.

The report was commissioned by the city’s economic development company, Liverpool Vision.

Chief executive, Max Steinberg said: “Liverpool offers a world class business destination. These results show that the region’s businesses not only benefit from the city’s greatly improved provision of premises, a skilled workforce and cleanliness and safety, but also that elements such as friendliness, community spirit and the vibrancy of the city play a crucial role in shaping perceptions. The UK still faces tough challenges, but this survey shows that Liverpool’s businesses have great faith in the future.”

The increased optimism is also reflected in businesses’ anticipated actions, with 53 per cent stating that they expect to take on new staff in the next five years. The survey also found that there is still strong support for Liverpool’s international offices in London, Shanghai and the USA with 78 per cent of businesses stating that they believe that this initiative reflects well on the city.

Mr Steinberg added: “This survey allows us to position our work strategically to meet areas of need. It gives us an objective measure of the opinions of Liverpool’s businesses and the factors which influence their decisions.

“For example our dedicated new team of five business growth managers is now working across the city region, providing valuable business support and training advice based on last year’s survey, which showed a need to improve and better communicate business support in the city.

“Liverpool’s announcement as host city for the UK’s International Festival for Business 2014, and our Strategic Investment Framework plans for the city centre reflect both our ambition and our confidence and are likely to have a considerable positive impact on future results.”

For further information download the Foundations for Growth 2013 report here.