Somerset firms urged to take part in business survey

May 19 2020
Somerset firms urged to take part in business survey

BUSINESSES across Somerset are being urged to give five minutes of their time to provide policymakers with a true snapshot of the health of the county’s economy.

Somerset Chamber of Commerce organises the county’s submissions for the British Chambers of Commerce’s national Quarterly Economic Survey (QES), the largest private sector survey of business sentiment in the UK.

The results are closely watched by key policymakers, including the Treasury, the Bank of England, the Office of Budget Responsibility and the IMF. It is the first QES since lockdown and the global coronavirus pandemic.

The survey, which is run in Somerset in conjunction with Barclays, is seen as a leading indicator of UK GDP growth and is the largest and most representative independent survey of its kind in the country.

It looks at a wide range of issues, including export sales and orders, employment prospects, investment, recruitment difficulties, cash flow, confidence and price pressures.

Local results are then fed into the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) to formulate the first national economic indicator of each yearly quarter.

Stephen Henagulph, chief executive of Somerset Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are facing unprecedented times and we are doing all we can to support the business community but it’s vital we know the impact of the current lockdown on businesses of all sizes and from all sectors across the county.

“The survey comprises of less than 30 tick box questions covering demand, employment, business confidence, investment and external factors and takes just a couple of minutes to complete. Any business can complete the survey – you don’t have to be a chamber member.”

The local results are a good source of data for businesses looking to understand the economic climate in Somerset and feed into the national survey which will provide a valuable source of data for policymakers during these challenging times.

Graham Austin, Barclays Head of SME, South West, said: “We understand businesses across Somerset are struggling with the impacts of coronavirus right now and we will do everything we possibly can to continue to support them. The findings of this survey will enable us to focus our efforts in delivering Barclays Building Thriving Local Economies initiative in the county, by identifying practical ways to help local businesses as we start to emerge from the lockdown.”

The Quarterly Economic Survey can be found on Somerset Chamber’s website at www.somerset-chamber.co.uk. Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a free prize draw to win a hamper of Somerset produce. The deadline for responses is June 8.