Positivity continues amongst businesses says Chamber survey

Confidence amongst businesses in the region remains high according to the latest survey results from West & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. The survey for the first quarter of 2014 was conducted during February and March, and provides an indication of business conditions and trends. 900 businesses were surveyed across Leeds, Bradford, York and North Yorkshire.

The survey highlighted further growth amongst service sector businesses both domestic activity and overseas trade across large parts of the region. Confidence is also improving amongst manufacturers with 50% reporting recruitment activity in the last three months, although finding the right talent is still proving difficult especially for skilled manual and technical staff.

The survey of business owners and directors showed however that concerns over business rates and increased competition remained key for business in our region.

Mark Goldstone, Head of Business Representation & Policy said: “The year has got off to a good start but more needs to be done to ensure a ‘great’ recovery. Issues such as energy costs, access to finance and access to talent still need to be addressed. The manufacturing sector is a hugely important sector to this region with the value of exports out of Yorkshire & Humber at £17.5bn last year. We must ensure they have access to the widest possible talent base. The Chamber will continue to work with policy makers, local authorities and education providers to ensure there is sufficient interest generated amongst young people, parents, schools and teachers about the opportunities a manufacturing career can offer.”