Liverpool has improved as a place to do business, according to the Liverpool Business Survey.
The Liverpool Business Survey (LBS) is undertaken each year to measure business opinion in the across the city. Commissioned by Liverpool Vision, it involved telephone interviews being carried out with 850 businesses across the city, asking them for their views on the importance and quality of a range of issues.
One of the stand-out figures was the number of companies scoring Liverpool as either four or five out of a highest possible mark of five – 76%, compared to 67% in 2013/14. This translates into confidence of local success, with 82% predicting the Liverpool economy to grow over the next 5 years.
Anecdotally, several respondents mentioned an increasingly favourable attitude to the city as a result of its perception as a thriving business and tourist destination, as well as increased profile achieved through International Festival for Business 2014 (IFB 2014).
Other findings from the report included 58% of businesses predicted their business to grow in the next two years, as part of the wider city story. This will have a good knock-on effect for the workforce, with more than half of the firms interviewed intending to hire new staff and increase salaries for current staff in that time.
While the results were largely positive, one of the main concerns was recruitment problems, such as a lack of suitable candidates for specialised positions and the need to improve IT and technical skills for the workforce in the finance sector.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said:
“The report echoes what I hear from businesses around the city on a daily basis; namely, that there is a lot of positivity and the city is seen as a good place to do business. A confident, forward-looking business community is the lifeblood of this city, and I share their confidence that more jobs will be created in Liverpool over the next two years.”
Max Steinberg, chief executive of Liverpool Vision, said:
“We commission this report because it allows us to get to the heart of the matters that affect our businesses, giving us a sound base from which to highlight our strengths and pinpoint areas we may wish to improve.
“The 2015 installment shows that more Liverpool companies are reporting strong figures and are genuinely positive about the future, and I hope that even more will exploit the opportunities presented by the city’s growing profile and the work done here at Liverpool Vision.”
Words: Peter Cribley