Earlier this year Rawlinsons commissioned the ‘Greater Peterborough Business Survey’ in association with Opportunity Peterborough. The purpose of the survey was to gauge business confidence in Greater Peterborough, rather than the usual Cambridgeshire-wide reports.
We received responses from over 200 companies, spanning all sectors, with the majority of replies from professional services, manufacturing, media and communications, retail and construction. Over half of the business surveyed had been operating in Peterborough for over 15 years. 50% of respondents employed up to 5 people, and 31 businesses employed over 50 staff. Around half reported turnover in excess of half a million pounds, and 10 companies had turnover in excess of £10 million. A substantial cross section of local businesses to evaluate!
The stand out figures in business performance were that 30% of businesses said the previous 12 months had shown some improvement in performance, and 42% were optimistic about the next 12 months. Almost a third of businesses expect to employ more staff during the next 12 months and over half expect to see an increase in profitability – great news for the local economy and job seekers.
These results give us a clear indication that there is more positivity in the market and that business people are feeling more confident to invest in extra staff now they are expecting increased profitability.
It was also clear from the results that the recovery is still fragile however, and many respondents focused on problems with red tape, energy costs, squeezed margins and problems accessing finance to drive desired expansion.
A number of companies also mentioned the importance of developing the city’s university offering and improving super-speed broadband services which they feel will enhance Peterborough’s marketability to external investors.
Rawlinsons were delighted with the response levels to our first Greater Peterborough Business Survey and we are planning to roll this out every year so we can measure progress on an annual basis. To request a copy of the Greater Peterborough Business Survey 2014 report please click here.