The survey – carried out between July 14 and October 1 this year – reveals 55.9 per cent of businesses are ‘very confident’ that they will still be trading this time next year, with none saying they expected to fail.
Brexit and the end of the transition period was rated as the area of biggest immediate concern by the business community, with changes to taxation and supply chain disruption also featuring prominently.
The results come from a survey of 441 businesses carried out across the West Midlands by the region’s Growth Hubs.
A total of 59 businesses responded from Herefordshire, Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin, with their answers providing a snapshot of the hopes and fears of the business community across the region.
Other key findings from the Marches included:
50.8 per cent expect to see an increase in sales bookings over the next 12 months
40.7 per cent expect profitability to rise in the same period
79.7 per cent of businesses do not expect to increase their prices before the end of this year
16.9 per cent expect to take on more staff before the end of the year
83 per cent had taken advantage of various Covid-19 support schemes, with more than 90 per cent satisfied with the process.
In the West Midlands as a whole, 48.3 per cent of businesses said they were very confident they would still be trading in 12 months time but a fear over lack of sales (41.5 per cent) topped the list of concerns.
Yasmin Sulaman, Marches Growth Hub business support lead, said the results from the Marches showed that businesses were responding to the impact of the pandemic and hopeful that they could take advantage of new opportunities over the next 12 months.
“The pandemic and the ending of the transition period on December 31 have presented businesses with significant challenges in 2020 but this survey indicates that the majority across the Marches are working hard to overcome the difficulties and have some optimism for the future.
“The Marches Growth Hub will continue to work to provide support, advice, access to funding and new markets to help all our businesses realise their ambitions for growth and prosperity over the coming year.”