According to a new survey looking at how businesses are coping in the recession 9 out of 10 companies say Oxfordshire is a good place to run a business.
Thirty per cent of Oxfordshire companies predict that their business will recover from the economic downturn within the next 6 to 12 months. Twenty-seven per cent predict recovery within the next 18 months to 2 years and 44% of small businesses say they haven’t suffered any negative effects of the recession.
The survey reveals an optimistic outlook about business performance in the county with 63% of local companies reporting to be quicker than national businesses to adapt to changes like the recession.
Kate Allen, Managing Director of Allen Associates who commissioned the survey, said: “Whilst many companies have had to deal with recession-related issues resulting in extra pressure on managers, the new recovery predictions are extremely encouraging. Oxfordshire’s readily available talent pool, creativity and ability to innovate look set to help strengthen its economic position over the next year.”
The opinion poll was carried out by ComRes who surveyed more than 100 people in HR jobs in the county.
When asked what would aid future growth in the county, more than half of those surveyed called for more commercial development in the area. One local business said: “Oxfordshire is a county that is more likely to create new opportunities than to sit and wait for the old opportunities to become available again.” Other suggestions included growing more alliances between sectors and more funding from local government to encourage business growth.
Whilst almost half of Oxfordshire businesses have frozen salaries in the recession (46%) and recruitment (44%), more than half of companies (51%) plan to hire in 2010. Fifty-eight per cent of businesses surveyed have reassured employees verbally in order to retain staff during the recession. More than a third (35%) have taken an even more positive step and hired new employees to cast a brighter image.
Kate Allen commented: “We believe that people are a business’s key asset and it’s good to hear how local companies are leading the way in communicating proactively with staff and planning their recruitment strategies for 2010. We’re proud to have highly skilled people available for temporary and permanent job roles as the market strengthens.”