Over 300 Suffolk businesses took part in the first ever Suffolk Growth annual survey, providing valuable information which will shape future programmes of business support.
Suffolk Growth, working on behalf of all Suffolk councils, launched its first annual business survey in June 2021. Promoted through local councils, business intermediaries and social media (Facebook), the two-week survey secured 326 responses from businesses across the county.
The results from the survey will be used to inform future public sector programmes of support and interventions.
Cllr Richard Smith, MVO, chair of the joint Suffolk Growth Portfolio Holders said: “The results from our first annual business survey are encouraging and I hope that we can secure increased responses from businesses in future years. Our approach of conducting a single annual survey, across all Suffolk councils, demonstrates our commitment to coordinating our engagement and working in partnership to deliver for our businesses – we recognise businesses’ time is valuable and this direct feedback from those delivering our local economic growth is critical to inform our future work.”
Key findings from the survey include:
Business confidence: 34% of responding businesses say their confidence is extremely / very high, and a further 50% saying they were somewhat confident.
Workforce skills and opportunities: over half of all respondents have a skills / training plan in place or in development with sector specific skills the number one need identified.
Supply chains and trade: 131 businesses (41%) indicate that at least half of their supply chain is local (within Suffolk) with 25% currently or planning to trade outside the UK.
Climate change: 38% of respondents have a plan in place to reduce carbon emissions with ‘reduced or lower emission lighting’ and ‘using electricity supplier that uses renewable fuels’ being the most popular methods businesses are / will be using to reduce carbon emissions.
Property needs: The majority of responding businesses do not anticipate their property and / or connectivity needs to change over the next 12 months. The changes most businesses see relate to connectivity (22% on average).
Future support: Overall responding businesses are looking for support from local authorities in the areas of securing finance, funding and grants (59%), improved access to skills and qualification in their workforce (28%) and greater awareness of / access to local contracting opportunities and supply chains for major investments (25%).
Suffolk businesses can find out more about the wide range of support and advice available at www.suffolkgrowth.co.uk
About Suffolk Growth
Funded by Suffolk Public Sector Leaders (SPSL) Suffolk Growth is a partnership organisation that brings together local authority teams to develop and deliver our shared inclusive growth agenda. The partnership works closely with New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (NALEP), Suffolk Chamber of Commerce (SCoC), the University of Suffolk, Suffolk Constabulary, and wider public sector teams, including communities and health.