Stockport businesses up for the challenge in 2018

Stockport businesses have revealed they are cautiously optimistic about the 12 months ahead, with almost a quarter anticipating increasing their employment numbers.

Stockport businesses up for the challenge in 2018

Taking part in the annual Greater Manchester Business Survey, companies from across Stockport of different sizes and sectors took part in research looking at business performance and their outlook for the year ahead.

Looking at the plans business have for growth, skills and employment requirements and hopes for international trade; the research gives a detailed picture of Stockport’s greatest areas of strength and commercial opportunities that are emerging locally. Whilst also allowing local experiences to be compared with those across the rest of Greater Manchester.

The Greater Manchester Business Survey reveals that within Stockport:

  • Nearly half of companies are expecting their turnover to increase this year
  • A majority of firms that are planning to increase their workforce in the next 12 months are planning to do so by up to 20%
  • More than three-quarters of businesses (77%) are involved in innovation of some form whether developing products or processes, showing how Stockport businesses are using the highly skilled workforce they find locally to lead the way commercially
  • Over half of businesses (59%) are investing in their staff having provided training for them during the last year
  • The high level of skills found in Stockport means that 86% of businesses do not have vacancies they are finding hard to fill
  • Finance remains the greatest barrier to growth that was highlighted by firms locally and across Greater Manchester

The research was conducted on behalf of the Business Growth Hub, which offers a wide range of business support and advice services, many of which are fully funded, to help employers grow and fulfil their potential. The findings will be used to address areas that are believed to be hindering growth for businesses across Greater Manchester and Stockport.

Councillor Kate Butler, Cabinet Member for Economy and Regeneration at Stockport Council said: “It’s very encouraging that businesses across Stockport and Greater Manchester are continuing to grow and are feeling confident about the year ahead. We’re keen to ensure the right building blocks are in place to guarantee that Stockport remains home to a vibrant and strong economy where businesses can grow, and want to invest.

“Giving companies access to the right business support, as well as ensuring they can easily access skills emerging in universities, colleges and schools is vital. This is something that as a Council we have been working hard to ensure over the past few years, and we are committed to continuing for the future.”

Christian Mancier, Chair of Stockport Economic Alliance added: “The business survey provides a fascinating insight into the issues faced by businesses in Stockport, and their growth ambitions. It shows we have a strong and supportive business community with a skilled workforce and strong prospects for the future. I’m encouraged to note that around a quarter of businesses are actively working with schools and colleges to help shape the future workforce, and further increasing this figure will be a key aspiration for Stockport Economic Alliance.”

Any Stockport company looking for advice and support to help them start or grow their business can find out more about the services available to them on our Business webpages.