- UK Sales have seen a slight decrease of 3% over the past 3 months
- 61% expect prices to rise, an increase of 12%
- The number of businesses who saw an increase in cash flow during Q4 was up 6%
- Confidence remains steady with a slight decrease in the number of businesses expecting an increase in turnover
Together with Worcestershire County Council’s Clean Growth Team, the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce have released the latest Quarterly Economic Report which provides a snapshot of the local business environment and is the leading indicator in business performance and confidence.
The quarter 4 Report looks at how businesses have operated and also has a special focus on the barriers that are preventing businesses from becoming more sustainable. Over 400 local businesses took part in the survey and the findings of the report will contribute towards the British Chambers of Commerce National Quarterly Economic research, allowing businesses, their partners, and representative bodies to assess their current position, plan, and benchmark themselves amongst their peers.
The Report paints a picture of how businesses were performing just before the government announced the move to “Plan B” in December, enforcing restrictions on certain businesses. This Report will be important in demonstrating what position businesses were in before the announcement and can be referred to in the future when measuring the impact that Plan B restrictions had on businesses.
Robert Elliot, Director of Business Engagement and Development, said: “I would like to thank everyone who completed the Quarterly Economic Survey. Over 400 businesses gave feedback, making Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce the number one Chamber in the UK for number of responses, and providing a fantastic appraisal of business conditions over the last three months.
“As with most surveys, there is a mix of positive and negative indicators. As a Chamber team, we look forward to working on the results, providing support, making connections, and celebrating success.”
Reducing environmental impact, being a responsible employer and rising customer expectations are all forces driving businesses to a greener future. The special Sustainability and Low Carbon Growth feature of the Report asks a series of questions on the steps businesses have taken to become more sustainable and the support they need in order to continue to do this. The Report reveals that 28% of businesses surveyed had taken no action to improve sustainability, highlighting the need for further education and spotlighting on this matter.
Cllcr Tony Miller, Cabinet Member for Environment, Worcestershire County Council, said about the findings within the report: “We have found the results of the Report extremely useful in terms of where businesses are in their journey to sustainability but also highlighting the support that is required to make improvements.
“The positive message of businesses playing their part is echoed in the quarterly Report with 72% of local businesses saying they are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact.
“From both an environmental and financial perspective, it makes sense to review and manage energy consumption and costs.”
Key resources such as the Chamber’s Sustainability Hub and the British Chambers of Commerce Net Zero Hub will be important and useful guides for businesses moving forward.