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Claire’s Column – Business Optimism For 2014

Published on: 16 Jan, 2014
Updated on: 16 Jan, 2014
Claire Dee

Claire Dee

In this regular column – a must read for all those interested in Guildford business – Claire Dee reveals how local companies are optimistic about the year ahead.

2014: The new year begins, and with it comes optimism and confidence from the local business community.

This month, the results of a survey from Surrey County Council and Surrey Connects – which polled 1,300 businesses – show that more than three-quarters of businesses in Surrey’s economy are primed for growth in the next two years. And nearly nine out of 10 companies said they were drawing up plans to develop their business, while around six out of 10 reported that they had sought advice on areas such as hiring staff, access to finance and training.

Mark Pearson, chief executive of Surrey Connects, said: “We welcome the findings which show that Surrey businesses are using their innovative and creative skills to drive future growth.”

Recruitment for the year ahead is also expected to increase. Accountants and business advisers BDO LLP, which has offices in Guildford, issued its latest Manufacturing Outlook report in December showing that the forward-looking recruitment balance, along with improving investment plans, indicate manufacturers have significant confidence in the economic environment and the state of their order books to be planning on expansion.

So, Guildford and Surrey could see further business growth in both revenue and headcount in the next 12 months and beyond. Given its well-deserved economic powerhouse label, and in turn significant contribution to the Treasury (around £6 billion a year – second only to London), perhaps that’s not surprising.

Only time will tell.  Let’s discuss again in January 2015.

Claire Dee runs her own communications consultancy near Guildford and is an active member of the local business community including sitting on the Surrey Chambers of Commerce Council.  To learn more visit

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