Public ‘more positive’ about businesses, survey finds

John Dugmore of Suffolk Chamber. Picture: DAVID GARRAD

John Dugmore of Suffolk Chamber. Picture: DAVID GARRAD - Credit: Archant

East Anglian business leaders have welcomed a new survey suggesting firms are generally well regarded by the public.

David Burch Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

David Burch Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Research by business lobby group the CBI found that two out of three adults believed businesses in the UK had a good reputation, up by 7% compared with six months ago.

The increase was twice as high among 18 to 34-year-olds. Two thirds of adults had a positive relationship with their employers, although a similar number said chief executives were out of touch with people’s lives, the study found.

Suffolk Chamber chief executive John Dugmore said as well as being employers and wealth creators, firms played an important wider role, including supporting local charities, sports clubs and civic events.

“The fact that businesses are increasingly being seen as a force for good by others in society is an encouraging development,” he said. “According to our last quarterly economic survey Suffolk businesses, especially those in manufacturing, reported stronger sales, orders and employment data than the previous quarter. That said there were slight declines in the balance of the number of Suffolk businesses forecasting a future improvement in both turnover and profitability, although both figures remain positive.

“We are due to publish our latest survey figures next week and these should give the most up-to-date and accurate insights into business confidence in the county.”

David Burch, director of policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce, said it was “gratifying” to see that people were increasingly recognising the value of businesses and what they contribute to society through taxes, employment provision and through engaging with and supporting local charities.

Most Read

“Many businesses are facing increasing burdens from Government legislation so it is not an easy climate for them to operate in which makes these findings all the more welcome and reinforce the fact that the UK is actually a good place in which to do business.”

A more downbeat survey of more than 1,000 Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) members found that one in seven were planning to downsize, close or sell their business in the next three months. Three out of four firms reported rising operating costs.