Ratings of business and labour market conditions
Businesses were, on the whole, positive about the availability of utilities (81% rated this as
good). This was especially the case for those with 50 or more staff, where 98% gave a
positive rating. There are not any statistically significant differences by sectors or area.
They were also positive about the availability of suitable premises for their business (64%
good). However, they were less positive about the affordability of the premises, with just
38% giving a good rating and 30% rating this as poor. Businesses with 10 or more staff
were more likely than those with fewer than 10 staff to rate the affordability of business
premises as good (37% of those with 1-4 staff and 33% with 5-9 staff, compared to 46% of
those with 10-49 staff and 51% with 50 or more).
There were also more positive than negative responses around the mix of businesses in the
area, with six in ten (59%) giving a good rating with regards to their supply chain being
located locally and a similar proportion (56%) rating their proximity to complementary
businesses as good. Businesses with 50 or more staff were particularly likely to rate their
proximity to complementary businesses as good (80%).
Whilst approaching half (47%) felt the availability of appropriately skilled staff was good,
around three in ten (29%) said it was poor. Skills challenges are covered in more detail in
Section 5 of this report.
Views on the quality of local support available to businesses were very mixed, with around
a third rating them as good (34%), a third rating them as poor (33%) and a third giving a
middle rating of 3 out of 5 (33%). See Figure 2.3 for the ratings of each aspect broken down
by the 5-point scale.
Comparing the 2019 data with previous years7 shows that there has been an increase in
the proportion of businesses that rate the availability of suitable premises for their business
as “good” (64%, up from 56% in 2017 which was itself an improvement on the 46% seen in
2.12. The other comparable measures (supply chain located locally, availability of appropriately
skilled staff, local support available to business) have remained relatively static, with no
significant differences seen since 2017
Setting up business in an area that is an attractive place to live and work could help
businesses attract the best staff; it may also be important for bringing customers to an area.
2.14. Businesses in the South East Midlands were positive about the quality of schools and
colleges in the area, with 70% rating these as “good”. Larger businesses were less likely to
give a positive rating here, however (43%).