Stoke Staffs LEP
Stoke-Trent and Staffordshire LEP calls on SMEs to share business insights
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Stoke-Trent and Staffordshire LEP calls on SMEs to share business insights

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP is nearing completion on its largest ever business survey, and is encouraging businesses across the area to take part and help shape future business support activity.

The economic status report (or SITREP) and accompanying business insight survey is gathering intelligence from almost 800 local businesses of different sizes and sectors, enabling the LEP to gather “real time” insights to remain in-touch with the issues that businesses are facing. The findings will assist the LEP’s strategic planning to identify local needs and provide support as needed.

At the mid-way point in the survey, some of the emerging trends suggest that economic and political uncertainty remains a common issue amongst small and medium sized organisations. Economists have suggested that economic recovery post-pandemic will be slow in the UK, and rising inflation is posed to threaten small businesses. However, the country has also significantly changed its way of working in the past two years and digital businesses are thriving. This type of intelligence will help the LEP and partners at a local level to help shape business support activity in the future.

Despite the volatility of some markets in 2022, many of those already polled indicate that they have good confidence in the future of their business for the next 12 months.

While statistics already extrapolated give an indication of potential trends, as many businesses as possible are encouraged to take part in the survey closing at the end of February 2022, in order for the LEP to gather a breadth of viewpoints and fully understand the business needs of the region to ensure action makes an impact.

Alun Rogers, chair of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP, said:

“By engaging with SMEs at scale and understanding the scope of their concerns and ambitions, the LEP will be primed to provide the most robust support possible. We’re keen to create a two-way, open dialogue with businesses so we can understand what they want and need from us.

“To maximise the effectiveness of this venture, we want to hear from a wide variety of business voices in the community. We’d encourage anyone who operates an SME in our region to stake their claim by getting in touch with us and completing the survey. The LEP represents the voice of business speaking directly to central Government; the more information we have to work with, the better-equipped we will be to secure funding, offer bespoke support and ultimately allow businesses to grow.”

This survey will run alongside another insight-gathering activity from the LEP whereby regional businesses will share information specifically on their skills, such as how well equipped they are for an increasingly digital working landscape and what support they may need on their journey to net zero. Working in tandem, the surveys aim to equip the LEP with an all-encompassing picture of the local workforce, in order to optimise its package of support. The Business Skills for Growth Survey will run throughout February and March, and can be found on Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP’s website.

Responses to the business insight survey will close on 11th March; the LEP is actively encouraging SMEs to get involved until then. To learn more or participate in the survey, contact Team Telemarketing on 0330 052 9469, who will follow up within 24 hours to undertake the survey.