Business Confidence at a High Despite Tidal Lagoon Decision
Swansea Bay Business Club’s latest business barometer has shown that confidence across the Swansea Bay city region remains high in the face of the disappointing tidal lagoon decision in June.
Club members from across 15 sectors including manufacturing, construction and retail responded to the latest survey, which is sent quarterly in an attempt to measure business confidence in the region and provide a platform for businesses to share their opinions.
An impressive 87% of businesses surveyed said that they had performed the same or stronger over the last three months in comparison to the first quarter of the year and a further 59% said they expected to perform even stronger again in the coming three months.
Crucially not a single respondent predicted that they would perform weaker in the coming three months, with 41% expecting to stay the same.
Paul Gardner, President of Swansea Bay Business Club commented: “It’s fantastic to see levels of confidence remaining in businesses across the region despite the tidal lagoon decision. As a club we are supporting the decision to look at other avenues to fund the project but are safe in the knowledge that we have a business community intent on making the most of what we have.”
In more positive news to come out of the barometer, 70% of respondents said that they were expecting an increase in their profitability in the next quarter, with exactly half planning on increasing their staffing levels.
Price pressure and declining demand from customers were seen as a potential barrier to growth for businesses surveyed but the main reason was once again the availability of skilled workers. 29% of respondents cited this as their biggest problem, echoing similar outcomes in previous barometers.
Paul continued: “With the on-going regeneration beginning to take place across the region, we hope to see an influx of skilled workers attracted by the new jobs Swansea will have to offer and see more people from the area realising that the jobs they aspire to are available right here on their doorstep.
“We have a solid business community in the region and one that appears to be going from strength to strength no matter what stands in its way. Our job as the region’s premier networking club is to provide the platform for businesses to interact, share ideas and assist in each other’s growth and this is something we will continue to do when our networking season resumes after the summer break with our two September events.”
Swansea Bay Business Club’s next events are a business breakfast at St Brides Hotel and Spa in Saundersfoot with Alec Don, Chief Executive of the Port of Milford Haven, and a lunch at the Liberty Stadium with Chris Jones, Chief Executive of Welsh Water, held on September 5 and 28 respectively.