Summary of key findings
The 2012 Manchester Business Survey was part of a larger business survey commissioned by Manchester City Council, Bolton and Stockport Councils, the Business Growth Hub and the New Economy.
The purpose was to collect data on current and expected business performance, to gain a better understanding of barriers and drivers to growth and to explore how businesses are interacting with the the local economy and the communities in which they are based.
The survey showed many firms performing well, with stable or increasing turnover and investing in innovation. However, it also highlighted several enduring weaknesses that remain in the Manchester economy. In particular, nearly three-quarters of firms neither engage, nor plan to engage, in international activity. Access to finance continues to be an issue, as does low skills for both employers and employees. Broadband usage is high, but firms are not currently aware of, or maximising, the potential benefits of superfast broadband. The majority of employers are aware of business support that is available, however work is needed to raise awareness of the full range of support and to encourage further take up.
The findings are being used to shape economic development strategies and to help improve delivery of business support and local services. They also enable the Council and partner agencies to engage more effectively with employers to support them in creating economic growth and employment opportunities for Manchester residents.