Send us news by text, start your message Star News and your send photos and videos to 80360
St Helens business bosses express 'cautious optimism' for 2013
7:00am Friday 18th January 2013 in News
MANUFACTURING companies remain confident profits will return to pre-recession levels in 2013, and have plans to increase their workforces, according to a study.
The quarterly economic survey by St Helens Chamber of 187 members has revealed hopes of improved trading conditions among some local businesses this year.
The chamber believes the report points to “welcome news for local job seekers”.
However, conditions are said to remain tough, growth is too slow and some sectors are “really struggling”, with investment in the service industry particularly low. Despite the positivity of some in the manufacturing sector there has been a contraction in domestic and export markets.
The overall mood is said to be one of “cautious optimism”, with many local firms remaining resilient in tough times.
The survey suggested service sector firms and manufacturers ended 2012 in better shape than 12 months ago – with some seeking to increase investment over the next 12 months.
The chamber, which works to support St Helens businesses, said “overall workforce balances for the manufacturing and service sectors at the end of 2012 look much healthier than the equivalent quarter in 2011”.
Tracy Mawson, director of business services at the chamber, said: “There is no doubt trading conditions remain tough for local businesses, and some sectors are really struggling.
“However, many of our members tell us they are doing really well, and there are some real success stories of St Helens firms who are growing, particularly on the back of increased export trade.
“While our latest economic results are mixed, our businesses are working hard in an uncertain environment and will need to continue to do so.
“However, the fact remains that growth is still too weak – we have businesses here in St Helens that are ambitious, determined and resilient.
“Many firms are investing and creating jobs, but more must be done by Government to support the aspirations of growing companies that will be the wealth creators of tomorrow.”
CHANCELLOR George Osborne must do more to promote growth to the UK economy – including setting out a clear timetable for the launch of a new British Business Bank, say St Helens Chamber.
Almost half of respondents to a St Helens Chamber survey plan to grow their business by up to 20 per cent over the next two years, and 12
per cent plan to grow the business more than 20 per cent.
Businesses expect key growth drivers will be improved marketing, staff recruitment and resource efficiency.