North West mid-sized businesses plan to embark on a major investment and hiring drive in 2021 to spearhead recovery.

REGIONAL SNAPSHOT

The North West consisting of the Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire, and Merseyside counties, has shown true resilience in the last six months. Many mid-sized businesses in the North West, however, fear Covid-19 restrictions, talent shortages and fuel price increases and believe it will ultimately impact their end of year trading.

BDO RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS

Our latest Rethinking the Economy survey found that that nearly a third of businesses in the region are planning to increase the prices of their goods and services because of Covid-19 restrictions, talent shortages and fuel price increases. Despite these pressures, nearly two thirds (63%) of companies in the region expect to see their revenues return to pre-pandemic levels within 12 months. Interestingly, 40% of North West companies will minimise the impact of increased inflation by reviewing supplier relationships in the short term.

There is a sense of cautious optimism looking into 2022 with half of the North West companies surveyed prioritising investment in digital, creating new jobs or international expansion to support future business growth. More than a quarter of North West businesses are looking to drive growth into the US and another 26% are looking to expand into Asia in 2022. Domestically, growth will come from expansion across the North West region and into the South East of England.

When asked which area of public spending would have the greatest positive impact on their business in 2022, nearly a third (30%) of North West companies called on the Government to invest in digital infrastructure as a priority for growth. Despite current concerns around supply chain and talent shortages, this ranked ahead of investment in infrastructure and skills and job creation.

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