Two thirds of business owners expecting growth

More than two thirds of businesses in Lancashire are planning organic growth within the next three years, according to the results of an influential survey.

Data from the Quarterly Economic Survey (QES), produced by the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, also showed that most businesses (53 per cent) intend to fund that growth by reinvesting profits, rather than through external funding.

The latest data is based on interviews with over 100 members of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and will be used as part of the wider British Chambers of Commerce quarterly survey.

Stephen Gregson, a director at Moore and Smalley, which sponsors the survey, said: “The results are encouraging and there are hints that businesses in our region are approaching the coming months with a degree of confidence (or perhaps stoicism).

“Clearly, we face challenging times for the economy; not least because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. However, those business owners who will flourish will continue, as they have done to date, focusing on the factors that are within their control; basing their decisions on good management information and a balanced assessment of the conditions in their sector and the wider economy.”

70% of businesses said they plan to grow organically in the next 13-36 months. 18% expect trading to remain roughly the same, 7% plan to make a business acquisition, and 5% plan to exit their business.

On growth investment 53% said they intend to reinvest profits, 18% will use personal funds, and 14% will use either bank finance, private equity or other external funding. 15% were unsure.

The information has been released as a preview the latest QES, the results of which are due to be released on April 11 at Preston’s College.