Where best to do business?
The UK’s best and worst locations for doing business effectively have been revealed by a new survey from the Forum of Private Business (FPB). Energy costs and access to effective telecommunications top the list of infrastructure issues for small firms.
The survey, “Infrastructure for Growth”, found that, overall, 74% feel their location is effective for their business needs, with the key factors being their proximity to good road networks (16%), their centrality (14%) and their footfall (9%).
As far as geographical location is concerned, 79% of business owners in the North West feel their location is effective for their company, 78% in the South West, 76% in the Midlands, 75% in Wales, 75% in the East of England, 74% in London, the North East and Yorkshire, 67% in the South East of England and 65% in Scotland.
The survey also found that 80% of respondents thought energy costs are an extremely important infrastructure issue and 80% also cite the importance of telecommunications and broadband access. Working down the list, 75% believe the reliability of the energy supply to be a key issue, 73% feel local banking services are key and 65% cite local roads. The next priorities are post office services (60%), mobile communications (59%), the motorway network (56%), the provision of skills training (46%), waste services and recycling (41%), e-communications (32%) and rail transport (23%).
When asked what infrastructure-related problems should be prioritised by the Government, most business owners identified business rates (52%), followed by measures to boost consumer and business confidence (49%), health and safety regulations (45%), utilities costs (44%), tax policies (44%), other regulations (42%), reducing employment law (40%), and late payment and debt (28%).