Businesses in Liverpool are confident that 2014 will be an outstanding year for business and that the International Festival for Business (IFB) will have a resoundingly positive impact on Liverpool’s profile and global reputation.
Almost 80 per cent of Liverpool’s businesses are confident that the UK economy will improve significantly in the next five years, and 83 per cent are confident that the Liverpool City Region economy will also grow in the same period.
The findings come from the annual Liverpool Business Survey based on interviews with 850 businesses, whose geographic and industry sector mix represent the whole of the city. The survey allows the city to gauge perceptions of Liverpool as a place to do business.
It was produced by 2020 Research Ltd on behalf of Liverpool’s mayoral economic development company, Liverpool Vision.
Almost half of the businesses surveyed expect to grow over the next two years and respondents believe that Liverpool’s friendliness and vibrancy help make the city a great place to do business.
Other findings highlighted in the report show that 53 per cent of businesses expecting growth over the next five years are looking to expand into new markets and that use of social networking has increased to 59 per cent compared with 50 per cent last year.
The Business Satisfaction Index (a summary measure of overall business opinions) rating has improved in the city centre from 7.05 to 7.21, although there were slight falls in the north of the city, from 6.77 to 6.61 and the south from 7.00 to 6.74.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “It’s clear from this report that Liverpool remains a great place to do business. We are working hard with the business community in the city during these tough economic times and confidence is growing. Our existing businesses – as well as the new relationships we hope to forge during IFB – are vital to the long term success of the city.”
The report also highlighted growing awareness of IFB 2014, up 26 per cent since last year, from 17 per cent to 43 per cent. Around 85 per cent of those aware of the festival believe it will benefit Liverpool and 33 per cent of those think it will boost their own business.
Max Steinberg, Chief Executive of Liverpool Vision said: “This is Liverpool’s year to shine, so business perceptions are more important than ever. This report allows us to get to the heart of the matters that affect our businesses and gives us a sound base from which to highlight our strengths and pinpoint areas we may wish to improve.
“The IFB offers an immense opportunity to every business across the region and the UK as a whole. I am very pleased that there has been such a sharp increase in awareness of its potential to bring long term investment to the city.
“Tens of thousands of senior business representatives are coming to Liverpool to take part in IFB 2014. This is a massive opportunity for us – I encourage people to make the most of it.”