Business on the up, Ipswich firms claim

IPSWICH: Firms in Ipswich believe business is looking up with many expecting to emerge from the recession stronger than they were beforehand, a study has found.

sarah.chambers@eveningstar.co.uk>

IPSWICH: Firms in Ipswich believe business is looking up with many expecting to emerge from the recession stronger than they were beforehand, a study has found.

Nearly three quarters of the town's small businesses (73 per cent) are expecting an upturn next year, the survey by communications giant BT revealed.

Business Pulse 2009, the UK's largest survey of small and medium businesses this year, also revealed that 56pc remain confident or very confident about their own business prospects.

Many say that they have emerged from the recession as stronger businesses. More than a third said they had changed the way they operate for the better with only 15pc saying the recession had changed their business for the worse.

Nearly one in four (24pc) Ipswich firms reported a rise in turnover during the downturn compared to 22pc nationally, while one in three of Ipswich's companies (34pc) had seen no change in turnover.

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The survey findings from more than 7,000 UK small firms were revealed at the start of Small Business Week 2009, which champions commercial, industry and government support for the UK's 4.7 million-plus smaller enterprises.

Mick Hegarty, strategy director for BT Business, said: “This comprehensive survey demonstrates the resilience of small businesses in some of the most challenging economic conditions of the past 50 years. Most firms are positive about the future and in many cases they have emerged stronger and fitter from the downturn.”

The research, which indexed by age, gender, region and industry sector, measured the current health of UK business and the drivers and inhibitors to success during the recession. Findings showed that women aged 46-55 have been most affected by the recession and that the sectors hardest hit were construction and companies with two to five employees.

Do you run a small business? How has the downturn affected you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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