When a General Election occurs it provides people with the chance to reflect on the past five years, and for many businesses, they are struggling more now than nearer the recession.
Looking back at our Red Flag Alerts for the city, 69 per cent more companies in Liverpool faced financial difficulties in the first quarter of 2015 compared with the same period of 2013.*
However the same figures also highlight that some sectors in the region are performing better than others – with the number of bars and restaurants and leisure and culture businesses facing financial troubles falling compared with the same period last year.
This could partly be due to the vibrant calendar of events that are attracting people to the city, such as the Giant Spectacular in August last year which marked the centenary of the First World War.
Over the next year the calendar is just as jam packed, with events such as the meeting of Cunard’s Three Queens and the Liverpool Loves festival continuing to promote our fantastic city.
Business events such as the International Festival for Business also shone the spotlight on Liverpool and its companies, and according to figures released following the event, £300 million of new business and 10,000 new jobs were created across the UK as a result of the festival – so it’s great news that it will be returning in 2016.
With the Election now decided business leaders can now look to the future, assessing their prospects and deciding what they want to achieve over the next five years.
Accessing finance continues to be a key issue for many firms in the region, with the Chancellor announcing in the autumn statement that the Funding for Lending scheme will be extended for another year to help encourage lending to businesses.
For companies that are already experiencing financial difficulties an injection of funding can be the boost needed to for them to continue trading, however some feel that they will be rejected for financial support if they do not have a proven record of success
Many of the city’s re-elected MPs have pledged to encourage job creation within the region. But in order to do so, continued investment in small businesses and the regions enterprises is needed.
Developments in infrastructure also continue to be a key issue, with many local business leaders lobbying for the proposed HS2 and HS3lines to help the city to improve its links with the rest of the UK.
The election of a majority Government will provide some form of stability for companies in the UK but the focus needs to remain on the small to medium sized business community, which is the driving force of Liverpool’s economy.
So while it’s clear that some businesses in the city have yet to emerge from financial difficulties, Liverpool has a range of fantastic opportunities that can help businesses thrive over the coming years. Whichever camp you’re in, speaking with an external business advisor can help firms the make most of expansion opportunities, andprovide expert guidance on how they can begin to prosper.
*1051 business faced significant financial difficulties in the first quarter of 2013 compared to 1781 in the first quarter of 2015.