Works starts on annual health check of business in Peterborough

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An annual survey has just been launched to measure economic progress in Peterborough over the last 12 months and look ahead to the prospects for the future.

It is hoped that hundreds of businesses will take part in the 2017 Greater Peterborough Business Survey.

This survey gives a flavour of how things panned out for Peterborough businesses in 2016 and how things look going forward.

Steve Bowyer, chief executive

It is being conducted by city accountancy firm Rawlinsons and supported by economic development company Opportunity Peterborough.

It is aimed at businesses operating in the Greater Peterborough area rather than Cambridgeshire as a whole.

Last year about 200 companies took part ranging from start-ups and micro businesses through to multi million pound organisations with hundreds of staff.

Chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough Steve Bowyer said: “This will be our fourth Greater Peterborough Business Survey so we’re starting to build an interesting picture of how our economy is performing over time – taken from the viewpoint of businesses across the area which is really important.

“This survey gives a flavour of how things panned out for Peterborough businesses in 2016 and, perhaps more importantly, how things look going forward.”

The survey will be distributed in the Greater Peterborough business community and is available to complete online: www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/peterborough-business-survey

Mark Jackson, a partner at Rawlinsons, said: “Confidence in the local economy impacts on us all, and shared confidence is an essential ingredient to encourage further investment.

“We have been talking to many businesses across the city about the potential impact of Brexit and it will be interesting to see how the referendum is affecting attitudes to growth and investment, if at all.”

Almost 60 per cent of the businesses that responded in 2016 reported improved performance during the previous 12 months with 45 per cent expecting to invest more in the following 12 months – with a third expecting to require larger premises within the next five years.

The biggest challenge earmarked by respondents was the availability of skilled workers with 37 per cent focusing on this as their main obstacle to growth.

Each participant will be entered into a free draw to win £100 John Lewis vouchers.

The closing date for completed surveys is February 24.