Plan for the future and take advantage of support

PETERBOROUGH’S business leaders need to give top priority to planning for both their survival and the eventual economic upturn, according to a major report.

The National Business Survey, by Ipsos Mori, has shown that half of our region’s companies need to improve their sales and marketing skills, with 44 per cent wanting to update their IT knowledge. Two-thirds of businesses in the survey reported that they were operating below full capacity and 65 per cent had no formal growth plan.

The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) says its Business Map initiative provides a clear route to the £30 million of business support available in the region.

Copies of the Business Map have just been sent to small to medium-sized companies in Cambridgeshire so they can access the help they need. This will help businesses get through both the economic downturn and prepare for future prosperity, says the EEDA.

Richard Ellis, chairman of EEDA, said: “There’s no doubt we’re facing unprecedented times, but businesses need to prepare for future prosperity. Whether their focus is on growth, bringing new products to market or simply surviving the downturn, support is out there for businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors.”

Business Link is positioned at the heart of the Business Map, and is currently offering free and confidential ‘health checks’ for businesses on a one-to-one basis. To date, more than 400 companies have received help through the scheme, and Business Link has reported a 40 per cent increase in attendance at their events.