Two thirds of South West businesses confident in the Government’s commitment to levelling up the regions, BDO poll finds

October 2020

  • 66% of South West businesses think the Government will make progress on its ambition to ‘level up’ the UK regions, despite the difficulties of the Coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.
  • Businesses in the region are looking to the future with more than 40% of South West companies focused on hiring apprentices or graduates to support next generation of talent. 

Two thirds of business leaders in the South West believe the Government will make progress on last year’s election promises to level up the regions, according to BDO’s monthly Rethinking the Economy survey of 500 mid-sized businesses. 

The poll – conducted by accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP - revealed South West businesses are prioritising investing in the business overall, investing in new technology and hiring temporary staff in the next six months. More than 40% will specifically hire graduates or apprentices. 

Commenting on the findings, Andrea Bishop, Managing Partner at BDO in the South West, said: “The South West benefits from a diverse and resilient economy particularly around the Bristol city region. The entrepreneur-led mid-sized businesses in the region have been driving growth and creating jobs and with the right support, will continue to do so despite the challenges presented by Covid-19 and Brexit. Two thirds of business leaders have faith the Government will make progress and ‘level up’ the regions which is positive. Having said that, businesses in other regions such as the North West and Midlands are more optimistic the Government will fulfil this pre-election promise.”

In the South West, 37% of business leaders are still making changes to their organisation in response to coronavirus with 30% of companies claiming they have now settled into a new routine and are performing well. 

Andrea added: “While companies in the region continue to tackle a blend of political and economic challenges, as well as ongoing business and operational concerns, it is encouraging that so many businesses in the region are looking to invest in their business, its future talent and technology. It’s clear the entrepreneurial businesses across the South West are looking to the future and the part they can play in rethinking the region’s economy.”


Notes to editors

Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO LLP provides integrated advice and solutions to help businesses navigate a changing world. 

Our clients are Britain’s economic engine – ambitious, entrepreneurially-spirited and high-growth businesses that fuel the economy.  

We share our clients’ ambitions and their entrepreneurial mind-set. We have the right combination of global reach, integrity and expertise to help them succeed.  

BDO LLP operates in 17 locations across the UK, employing nearly 5,000 people offering tax, audit and assurance, and a range of advisory services. BDO LLP is the UK member firm of the BDO international network.

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