The results of the Bracknell Forest Council Business Survey are now available.
They show that 80% of local businesses are expecting their performance to improve or remain stable over the next year.
The survey was undertaken with over 500 local businesses to understand the impact of current economic conditions, continued post pandemic recovery and the challenges faced by increased energy costs and the cost of living crisis. It also asked for the views of local businesses about skills, infrastructure, the green agenda and workplace wellbeing.
The results show that:
- during the past year 82% of businesses said their performance had improved or remained stable, with 18% citing a decrease in performance
- over the next year, around 37% of Bracknell Forest businesses expect their performance to improve, and 43% expect their performance to remain stable
- just over half the businesses said they had been affected by the cost of living crisis, with 40% stating it had led to fewer customers
- more than a third of businesses stated that the rise in energy prices had affected them - 26% of those affected have sought to manage the use of their energy
- businesses reported a higher number of vacancies in 2022 compared to 2021 - 49% and 37% respectively
- more than 50% of Bracknell Forest businesses have access to superfast or full-fibre broadband
- 49% of businesses said they measure or monitor staff wellbeing levels
- while 52% of businesses said that climate change and sustainability issues are at least quite important for their business, only 9% have a specific target or aim to achieve net-zero and just 4% have set a deadline to this commitment
Download the results (PDF, 2MB)
As well as questioning the impacts of energy prices and cost of living challenges, the survey covered specific topics, such as:
- vacancies, skills gaps, retention and training
- physical infrastructure, broadband and business support provision
- employee wellbeing
- the green agenda and commitment to net-zero
The results of the survey will help inform the council’s economic plans, as well as inform local economic strategies and activity and support for local businesses.
Cllr Marc Brunel-Walker, executive member for economic development and regeneration, said:
“Many thanks to all the businesses that took the time to take part in this survey, it is really appreciated. Listening to the views of local Bracknell Forest businesses is important. The information gathered from this survey will help shape the services and support offered by Bracknell Forest Council, to help local businesses with their resilience and future growth.”
Bob Collis, Chair of the Economic and Skills Development Partnership (ESDP), said:
“These surveys provide the local authority and business organisations with an important insight into the health of our local business sector, and of Bracknell Forest’s economic future. As with previous years, they will continue to be used in policy and decision making. We are grateful to all those who take part.”
The telephone surveys were carried out by an independent research organisation, Public Perspectives, with the support of the Bracknell Forest Economic and Skills Development Partnership (ESDP).