Investment is key to achieving growth targets in 2022

December 2021


The message has been clear from Yorkshire businesses throughout the pandemic: we’re still open for business and we want to grow.

There’s no denying that this statement of intent has been said through gritted teeth and has been no easy task to achieve, but the desire alone speaks volumes about the mentality of the region and the determination to succeed.

Through our bi-monthly Rethinking the Economy survey of 500 mid-sized businesses, we have regularly asked the question about growth plans and, more specifically, what investment intentions are for the year ahead.

In a marketplace where many businesses continue to struggle, the question could be regarded as futile as companies focus on the important task in hand. But the response of Yorkshire businesses says differently and continues to do so. In fact, in our latest survey, nearly a fifth of companies stated that access to funding and investment would have the biggest impact on their business in the coming year.

But it’s where businesses intend to prioritise their investment to support growth in 2022 that is most interesting. Unlike any other region, Yorkshire businesses intend to channel funding into domestic expansion. It’s growth within other UK regions that is the number one investment priority in the next 12 months, with a more tentative approach to international growth (7%). Yorkshire also ranks the creation of new jobs as being one of the most important areas of investment in 2022, with achieving net zero/sustainability targets also making up the top three.

Given the increased focus in recent weeks on the green agenda, it’s hardly surprising that sustainability continues to rise up the priority list, as companies address areas such as environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) measures. In light of the global climate change conference, COP26, half of regional businesses have already strengthened their sustainability and net zero targets, with 40% introducing new measures that didn’t exist before.

While only 10% of Yorkshire businesses believe the government’s planned investment to achieve net zero will have the greatest impact on their businesses’ growth plans in 2022, the commitment by Number 10 to invest in infrastructure and digital infrastructure will support their plans for growth over the coming months.

There’s little doubt that the challenges of managing supply chains, as well as making loan repayments and restructuring workforces, including making some redundancies, are clear in people’s minds, there is a palpable confidence amongst the region’s businesses that has remained steadfast throughout the pandemic.

That confidence in growth has translated into half of Yorkshire businesses confidently admitting that it will take between 7 and 12 months to return to pre-COVID revenues – a target that many will consider highly achievable as we wave goodbye to 2022 and look forward to the year ahead.

If you would like to discuss your investment intentions for the year ahead, contact me on 07968125996 or email me directly at [email protected].

 

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