With thanks to Business Junction http://www.businessjunction.co.uk/ for sending this to my inbox! 🙂
London-based businesses across all sectors have responded to the autumn edition of the bi-annual London Business Survey and the results reveal that whilst most are confident they will see growth return in the first quarter of 2010, very few have plans to actively recruit new staff.
Present Government policies on tendering and business support are also criticised as being ineffective and in certain cases actually damaging to recipient businesses.
The survey, carried out by Business Junction and Clarity this November, invited companies across London to submit their views on how the recession and credit crunch has affected them directly and their outlook for 2010.
Many thanks to all the London businesses that took part!
The key findings of the survey are:
Ø Business confidence is returning: 83% of businesses expecting turnover to increase or stay constant into Q1 of 2010 in comparison to 75% in Spring 2009
Ø London businesses say staff numbers will most likely stay as they are now for the next 6 months, although 31% now say they expect to add to their workforce compared to 25.19% in Spring 2009
Ø Business support programmes by the Government, LDA and Mayor’s office have a poor take up rate and where taken up by London businesses, the impact has been negligible
Ø Only 13% of London businesses believe the current tendering process for Public Sector projects is a good investment of time and money
Ø Payments for Public Sector projects are usually received later than 29 days from invoice – 9% took longer than 90 days!
Ø 53% of overdraft applications to banks are not approved and the attitude of banks to businesses has remained largely unchanged since August 2008
Ø 88% of companies are members of a networking organisation.
Although business confidence is slowly returning, with 83% of businesses expecting turnover to stay the same or increase into 2010, recruitment opportunities look poor, with less than a third of London businesses (31%) looking to add new staff over the next six months.
Support and training
Despite the Government’s efforts to use business support programmes to help London’s companies drive the economy out of recession, the take-up has been poor. Only 22% of businesses had accessed Government support schemes, with more than half (51%) of those who received support feeling it failed to have any impact at all.
This issue was magnified in the results for the London Mayor’s office and the London Development Agency (LDA). Only 3% of London businesses have accessed any support schemes run from the Mayor’s Office whilst 14% had accessed one of the LDA programmes. Of those who received support through the LDA or Mayor’s Office, almost half (44%) felt it had resulted in a positive impact, over a third (37%) had felt no impact at all whilst almost a fifth (19%) felt it had actually had a negative impact.
Tendering for the public sector
Whilst around a third of London businesses had tendered for public sector work, only 13% of businesses surveyed feel that tendering is a good investment of time and money. The figures for CompeteFor also showed that whilst over a third (37%) had registered and a similar figure had tendered through the site (29%), only 4% had won any work.
Those who do work for councils, government agencies report that payments are still slow, despite government assurances to the contrary. More invoice payments take 30 days, with nearly a fifth taking longer than 90 days to sort payment from invoice.
Banks and small businesses
Over half of overdraft applications are still rejected by the banks and businesses report that the attitude of banks towards their business has remained unaltered since August 2008, when the lending crisis started.
Despite lending to banks being extraordinarily cheap, the rates passed onto businesses are excessive. Anecdotally, Business Junction hears of rates around 20% for small business lending, whilst accountants advice for small loans that credit cards and personal loans are cheaper and easier to sort.
Four out of five London businesses use networking to find new clients and suppliers for their businesses. This is leading to a sea-change in the ways London businesses structure themselves, with many companies now outsourcing functions, especially those within marketing or traditional back-office functions to companies within their networks.
For the full press release, please visit http://www.businessjunction.co.uk/londonbusinesssurvey. Press enquiries to Mark Herring (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For full results of the survey and analysis, please click here: https://www.clarityuk.net/register.php
Clarity is an online feedback company, producing surveys and market research for a range of clients across the UK. For more information, please go to www.clarityuk.net
BUSINESS JUNCTION is London’s leading independent business referral network, creating connections and trading opportunities for hundreds of companies across London and the south east.