Extra staff key to growth say East of England businesses

From: Fame Publicity Services
Published: Sun Aug 15 2010

Businesses in the East of England believe the recruitment of more staff will be key to driving future commercial growth, according to the latest research from Clydesdale Bank.

More than 40% of businesses identified an enlarged workforce as the top priority, given a more flexible approach from their lender, followed by acquisitions and mergers, and expansion of their premises (both 26%).

The research also found that nearly half (46%) of East of England businesses plan to reinvest at least 6% of turnover back into their business for commercial growth next year.

One in five companies (20%) plan to invest more than 10%, although nearly a third (29%) said nothing had been earmarked for growth.

The survey found that most businesses had delayed either salary increases (45%) or recruitment (37%) in the past year because of the economic climate.

Martin Guildford, managing partner at Clydesdale Bank’s Financial Solutions centres in Cambridgeshire, said: "From the research it is clear businesses are telling us that their investment and capital expenditure plans remain uncertain over the next 12 months.

"The decision of when and how much cash to invest back into a business is very important. These results indicate that the majority of businesses are planning a relatively conservative spend in the next 12 months. However, with growing confidence in 47% of businesses, the time may well be right for them to invest for growth and pursue quality growth opportunities from bringing new products to market to chasing potentially lucrative contracts."

The research showed that a third of businesses (32%) in the East of England cited a lack of cashflow for delaying investment in the past year. A further 30% spoke of the perceived financial risk in the current climate and another 26% deemed the preservation of working capital as more important.

One in four (25%) said a more flexible approach by their bank would allow their business to take advantage of growth opportunities in the next 12 months.

In response to customer demand, Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank recently launched a new business support initiative - Investing for Growth - to help successful businesses grow and develop by easing their cashflow pressures. The initiative, which follows the banks’ October pledge to advance up to £10 billion of new lending over the next two years, offers both new and existing business customers a dedicated planning service and a more flexible approach to lending.

Loan repayment holidays, interest-only repayments as well as extended loan and credit facilities are just some of the flexible support options available under the Investing for Growth initiative which also includes a dedicated financial planning service.

Martin added: "From our extensive customer research, we believe there is a growing demand to give businesses the flexibility and confidence to grow, while still easing cashflow pressures and debt commitments. Investing for Growth has been developed to cater for what many businesses are looking for at the moment. While it won’t suit every business, the opportunity to invest cash back into the company will be welcomed by good quality businesses who just need a bit more support in their corner."

The research for Clydesdale Bank was carried out online by Opinion Matters/Tickbox between 02/06/2010 and 16/06/2010. Sample: 1033 English & Scottish adults.

Opinion Matters/Tickbox.net is a leading market research organisation, carrying out consumer, corporate and niche market surveys online amongst a 50,000+ member panel.

Opinion Matters/Tickbox.net follow the codes of the MRS (Market Research Society) and are fully registered and compliant with the Data Protection Registrar.

Clydesdale Bank

Clydesdale Bank is part of the National Australia Bank Group. Clydesdale Bank was established in 1838 in Glasgow and, as one of Scotland’s largest banks, has a proud history of innovation and support for Scottish industry and communities as well as a significant presence in London and the South of England. With its sister bank, Yorkshire Bank, Clydesdale has 339 retail branches across Scotland, the North of England and the Midlands, and 72 Financial Solutions Centres throughout the UK, which offer customers a highly integrated business and private banking service.

Financial Solutions Centres

Financial Solutions Centres (FSC) focus on the communities in which they operate. Each of the UK-wide network of 72 FSCs offers a tailored range of business and private banking services under one roof. A team of specialist partners provide customers with end-to-end solutions for all of their banking needs. Each customer benefits from the in-depth expertise of a dedicated relationship partner who takes the time to get to know them and their business and is able to make fast, local decisions. In addition to banking services, the FSCs also operate as a hub for local business, with a range of networking opportunities and meeting facilities available as a benefit of membership.



The Elite Cambridge Business Circle

Clydesdale Bank’s Financial Solutions centres in Cambridgeshire are founder members of the Elite Cambridge Business Circle.

The Elite Cambridge Business Circle is an association of some of the top companies in Cambridgeshire.

Founded in 2009, the Elite Cambridge Business Circle celebrates and reports the wealth and rich diversity of entrepreneurial excellence and business innovation that abounds within the county boundaries of Cambridgeshire.

For more information about the Elite Cambridge Business Circle, e-mail Murdoch@famepublicity.co.uk

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