Manchester City Council

Business & investment Manchester Business Survey 2016

Employers positive about growth

For the fourth year running the annual business survey was co-commissioned by us and the Manchester Growth Company.

The 2015/16 survey was delivered by Qa Research and economic development and research consultancy TBR who completed 1,403 telephone surveys of which 500 with Manchester businesses. Interviewing was restricted to private sector businesses and voluntary or non profit-making organisations that make some income from trading. Additionally, all businesses had to have at least one employee.

General business outlook 

Employers appear to be positive about the outlook for their businesses over the next 12 months: 57% said they envisaged an increase in turnover and just 7% a decrease.  In terms of employment, the majority (55%) said they expected employment to remain the same over the next 12 months, whereas 38% expected their headcount to increase, up from 31% in 2014/15.

The most mentioned drivers for growth are ‘products and services the company provides’ (45%), ‘workforce and skills’ (43%) and ‘location and premises’ (32%). The three barriers to growth mentioned most often were ‘lack of staff or skills’ (26%), ‘access to markets and sales opportunities’ (26%) and ‘accessing finance’ (24%). These findings are similar as in 2014/15.

Most businesses provide training (74%) but those that don’t indicated that they not have a training plan/budget in place’ (19%). Only 19% of businesses employ apprentices whilst 62% do not offer ‘work experience placements or internships’.

Download the full report

Contact the Work and Skills Team for more information at:


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