08 October, 2010
Confidence is returning to Lancashire's business community with many companies increasing sales and staff numbers in the last 12-months and making plans for further investment.
And following the results of the 2010 Lancashire Business Survey, launched on Friday 8th October, business leaders believe the "dogged determination, skill and flair" of the county's companies is helping them be successful in a difficult economic climate.
The comprehensive appraisal of businesses across the Red Rose County paints a picture of growing self-belief among business owners, with 93 per cent of respondents claiming to have maintained or increased sales in the last 12-months, and just 7 per cent saying business has shrunk. The survey also found almost half of respondents plan to increase staff numbers in the next 12-months.
The annual Lancashire Business Survey, now in its third year, aims to uncover the county's 'commercial DNA' by capturing the opinions, experiences and insights of Lancashire businesses, with results and analysis supplied to local and regional government to help shape policy making.
The survey has been conducted by a partnership of private sector lobbying group Downtown Preston in Business, Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, Forbes Solicitors, Northwest Regional Development Agency, Business Link Northwest, marketing communications consultancy Freshfield, and digital communications consultancy Soap Media.
The results were announced at an event at Preston North End where guest speakers included Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, Damian Walmsley, partner at Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors, and Daniel Milnes, Partner at Forbes Solicitors.
Daniel Milnes, Partner and Business Law Solicitor at Forbes, said: "These results tally with what we are hearing from our clients all over the county. They are not calling us to despair or give up: they are asking us to help make their plans for the future happen. Those plans include expansions, innovative business collaborations and more, but what they have in common is a forward-looking attitude which is less about where we are and more about where we are going."
Frank McKenna, chairman of Downtown Preston in Business, said: "The Lancashire Business Survey offers a barometer of where leading Lancashire businesses from across the Red Rose County are at, both in terms of their own internal performances; and also in their outlook on the current economic and political climate. I am sure it will be a useful piece of intelligence for the agencies that govern us, and those who have a genuine interest in identifying the strengths and weaknesses of our regional business performance."
A total of 103 companies responded to this year's survey, representing a broad range of business sectors, including agricultural, building and construction, finance, food and drink, leisure, manufacturing, retail, services and technology.
For a full breakdown of the results visit www.lancashirebusinesssurvey.co.uk