Companies across the region are remaining positive in the face of post-Covid challenges, a regional business study has said.

A quarterly report by the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) highlighted issues such as staff shortages, rising prices and supply chain disruption continuing to impact on firms.

But it added that “positive sentiment” continued to be seen with hopes for a “surge in activity” throughout the rest of the year.

The report will be debated online tomorrow (23rd September) from 8am to 9.15am.

Henrietta Brealey, chief executive of the GBCC, said:

Henrietta Brealey

“Surveying for our latest quarterly business report took place after the majority of Covid-related restrictions had been lifted across the country and it’s great to see positive sentiment coursing through the veins of the business community.

“Domestic demand has risen to a level not seen since the end of 2018 and export sales, investment in capital expenditure and recruitment activity all mirror the levels we saw prior to the outbreak of the pandemic.

“Turnover and profitability projections have also continued their upward trajectory as businesses look ahead to the next twelve months.

“Also, a greater number of businesses are facing difficulties in attempting to add to their headcount all of which in unsurprising given the supply and labour shortages we’ve seen exacerbated by the so called ‘pingdemic’ and post Brexit headwinds.”

Henrietta Brealey

Raj Kandola, the GBCC’s head of policy, added:

“The percentage of firms that faced recruitment issues fell sharply during the pandemic. This was potentially linked to the number of redundancies that businesses made during this period and the fact that businesses had a larger talent pool of candidates to choose from.

“Nevertheless, that figure has continued to climb and has exceeded the pre-pandemic figure.

“It is vital the Government formulates a clear strategy which will safeguard a longer-term economic recovery. In particular, we support the British Chambers of Commerce in calling on the Government to create a more flexible immigration system which can help to tackle labour shortages, alongside training and direct support for furloughed workers that are returning to the job market.”  

Raj Kandola

People can book a space in the online debate here.

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