Over 200 firms gave an insight into how their business is faring and their views on hot business matters by participating in this quarter’s Doncaster Business Insight survey, monthly roundtables and breakfast briefing. Their feedback will enable Doncaster Chamber, Doncaster Council and other key stakeholders to monitor economic trends, capture business sentiment and support firms in their business growth.
“Doncaster Chamber is known for getting things done. The Doncaster Business Insight is a multi-faceted vehicle for us ensure that the business voice is being heard and acted on. The quarterly survey and monthly roundtables enable us to ask important questions, listen to business sentiment and be proactive in influencing proposed strategies, plans and policies that will affect the business community and beyond,” commented Dan Fell, ceo, Doncaster Chamber.
Firms completed the quarterly business survey to give a temperature check of how the local economy is performing, and their opinions on topical Doncaster business matters.
The survey findings showed that 97% of responding firms believe a rail link at the airport would be beneficial for the economy, 87% agree with the ambition for Doncaster to become a university city, 93% rate Doncaster as a ‘good’ or ‘fair’ place to business and there is strong business support for local economy boosting projects relating to leisure/culture, improved infrastructure & education.
Economic questions on how businesses fared in Q2 2018 showed that on balance, rates for domestic sales & orders, overseas sales & orders and employment growth were down. However there was high optimism for future turnover and profitability over the next three months.
A skills shortage (particularly for higher skilled / professional positions) continued to be an issue that correlates to the regional and national picture.
A balance figure of +72% businesses forecasting ‘turnover to improve over the next 12 months’ indicates high business confidence. This compares favourably with Sheffield City Region findings which are also positive but noticeably lower.
As part of Doncaster Business Insight, firms attended monthly roundtable discussions for key stakeholders including Transport for the North and Doncaster Council to hear their views on plans for logistics, education and health in the workplace.
Common feedback was for the public and private sectors to work more closely together with joined up thinking, the skills gap needs to continue to be addressed, and that Doncaster needs to shout louder about its business assets as even local people don’t know about the full range of what’s on offer.
At the Doncaster Business Insight Breakfast Briefing, panellists from local public and private sector organisations, including Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA), Igo Pets, Cast, NHS Teaching Hospitals for Doncaster & Bassetlaw and Doncaster Council, discussed Doncaster as a place to do business and their next big plans to grow.
Keynote speaker, Kate Stow, head of marketing & communications, DSA, spoke about the airport’s expansion plans that will benefit local businesses in offering supply chain opportunities, bringing high skilled jobs to the area and creating new homes and schools. Over 70 businesses attending the breakfast event showed their support for Doncaster’s plans to become a university city and for a rail link at the airport. There was a resounding sentiment that, with Doncaster currently having the second fastest growing economy, it’s a good place to do business.
Doncaster Business Insight, run by Doncaster Chamber in association with Doncaster Council and sponsored by ProAktive, captures a regular snapshot of business sentiment on the local economy to ensure the local business voice is heard, address any business concerns and develop the right policies/structures that support business and the economy. The results are also used by the British Chamber of Commerce to influence Whitehall and other national and international organisations including the Bank of England.
“This is the first time that we’ve done the Doncaster Business Insight Survey at this local level and we thank businesses for participating. We need to keep building on the response rates to ensure that Doncaster’s business voice is strongly heard,” concluded Dan.
To participate in the Q3 2018 Doncaster Business Insight survey, roundtables and breakfast briefing, visit: doncaster-chamber.co.uk/dbi.asp.