Confidence growing among Cornish businesses

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A straw poll by Business Link has revealed that businesses from in and around Truro are facing up to the recession by gritting their teeth and getting on with it.

Carried out at the ‘Real help, right here, right now’ roadshow held at Truro’s Alverton Manor Hotel recently, the survey revealed that half the respondents are more confident about their future prospects than they were three months ago.  

Nearly half are still as confident as they were then, and only 5% are feeling less so.  In addition, these positive-minded businesses are demanding the right type of practical advice to help them trade successfully through the recession, such as that available free, through Business Link.

This optimistic attitude was reflected in the fact that more of the businesses surveyed had appointed new staff (17%) than had made redundancies (11%). In addition, while just over 10% had reduced their marketing activity in the three-month period, close to 40% had actually increased it.  And although a few had cancelled some activities to save money – such as the 11% who postponed an IT upgrade – a highly encouraging 40% introduced a new product or process during the same period.

Ian Gent, marketing director at Business Link, who organised the event alongside the South West RDA (SWRDA), said: “It shows that not only are Cornish businesses on the whole not being browbeaten by today’s economic difficulties, but that many are actively investing for their future.

“We’ve worked hard to put together a practical range of support that helps with the issues that these businesses are facing. The events are just one way of receiving this support. People who can’t attend can call us or visit our website to find information, advice and details of local initiatives.”

The event was opened by the SWRDA’s executive director of enterprise and innovation Stephen Peacock, who said: “In the current climate it’s vital that businesses are given the tools they need to survive and thrive through recession so that they can take full advantage of the upturn when it comes. The RDA and its partners are working hard to ensure that support is available and these roadshows, which are taking place across the region, are an important part of getting the message across that help is available.”

His sentiments were echoed by Business Link chief executive Adam Chambers, who said: “I’m a firm believer that the more positive we are about our future prospects, the quicker we’ll emerge from recession into the bright light of recovery.  So it’s great to see an event like this being attended by so many businesses that are determined to safeguard their future – and equally good to hear of the practical, tough-minded approach they’re taking today.”

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