Councillors at East Staffordshire Borough Council have been reviewing the business landscape for East Staffordshire and it paints a positive picture; the Borough is an increasingly enterprising place to do business. Figures show that over the past 20 years the number of new enterprises within the Borough has increased by a staggering 16-fold, with 730 new businesses registered in 2018 compared to 43 in 1999. The number of new businesses in the Borough has particularly increased since 2011 when the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were formed, indicating that the support programmes delivered by the LEP are having a positive impact.
Other statistics are equally positive. Unemployment is low with just 1% of residents claiming benefit for unemployment related purposes, compared to 3% across the West Midlands. Skill levels are high with the percentage of the East Staffordshire population educated to NVQ level 4 or above higher than the regional average (32.8% compared to 31.8%).
East Staffordshire Borough Council’s Enterprise Team spoke to a range of local businesses to understand more about the business landscape. Businesses identified four clear benefits to being based in East Staffordshire:
- Location – being at the heart of the Country brings numerous benefits to businesses as suppliers and customers alike are easily accessible.Of course the great road links are invaluable.
- Skills – as evidenced with the statistics, the strong skills of local people in East Staffordshire help businesses thrive in the borough.
- Expertise – specifically in relation to the brewing industry, East Staffordshire continues to be the number one place to brew beer and this is supported by the strong level of expertise and talent of businesses that support the industry.
- Pride in the area – something that keeps businesses in the borough is a strong level of pride in the area.
Councillor Julia Jessel, Deputy Leader for Regeneration, said: “This is welcome good news for East Staffordshire and shows it is a thriving area to do business. As a Council we are always looking at ways we can help improve our local economy and whilst it is healthy at the moment, never being complacent, we will continue with our business support and investment in the area”.
Following on from this piece of work, East Staffordshire Borough Council will be conducting a survey of local businesses towards the summer. If you are a local business and would like to be involved, please contact the Enterprise Team at East Staffordshire Borough Council to find out more: firstname.lastname@example.org.