Fringe Box



Claire’s Column – Hang in There!

Published on: 8 May, 2017
Updated on: 8 May, 2017

In this regular column – a must-read for all those interested in Guildford business – Claire Dee discusses the impact of purdah and election fever.

Claire Dee.

As of May 3 Parliament dissolved, which means the country is now in purdah. That ominous pre-election period, when for around a month, indefatigable political candidates campaign for seats ahead of a general election.

Theresa May’s decision to hold a snap election on June 8 was indeed a huge surprise. Even to the seasoned political journalists and lobbyists, who usually have some insight into what’s coming way ahead of the rest of us.

In reality, the business world doesn’t need this further period of uncertainty. But, like Brexit (and Trump…), the decision has been made and we are where we are, so we must get on with it.

And we’re fortunate here in Guildford that our economy does well and business is, by and large, prosperous.

The findings of a recent economic dashboard of the Guildford area, commissioned by Guildford Borough Council’s economic development team, show that Guildford’s economy continues to perform above the Surrey average. The findings also reveal business start-ups and survival rates improved between 2009 and 2014 and that Guildford remains in the top five in the influential Lambert Smith Hampton Economic Vitality Index.

Similarly, a March Surrey County Council Economic Prospects report showed that while unemployment in the county is up marginally at 0.7%, Guildford fares much better than most of its neighbours at 0.6%.

Surrey is also home to several pharmaceutical companies, including Guildford-based Ergomed, which earlier this year reported revenues of £39.2 million, an increase of 30%.

But we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. While the Guildford and Surrey business community is established and resilient, the next few weeks will be tough, and at times turbulent. Hang in there though, as it will be over just as soon as it started!

As long-lived American author Robert Schuller said: “Tough times never last, but tough people do.”

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 Board and the Institute of Directors Surrey Committee. To learn more visit

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