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Businesses encouraged to support important survey assessing Cumbria’s economy

Jo Lappin

The 2020 Cumbria Business Survey has been commissioned by Cumbria County Council, all six District Councils, Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership and Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, to secure reliable data on Cumbria’s economic performance.

The aim of the 2020 survey is to inform policy and planning for the coming months and years, and also to assess how businesses are responding to and recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

BMG Research, which has worked extensively in Cumbria over the past 20 years, has been awarded the contract and will be interviewing 2,000 businesses across all sectors and areas of the county. This contact will be by telephone, with calls to businesses beginning during week commencing 21 September, with the intention being for all calls to be made by the end of October.

The interview, conducted by a BMG Research interviewer, will last around 20 minutes, and following an initial introduction, will be arranged at a time and date that is most convenient to the business being interviewed. The request is that those businesses that are contacted will provide a senior level person to be interviewed, who has a broad but detailed knowledge of the organisation’s activity, performance and plans.

The survey will cover topics such as business performance, the drivers and barriers to growth, business support services, trade and connectivity, innovation, digital services, skills, low carbon, EU exit and the impact of COVID-19.

The survey was originally planned to take place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has now been re-shaped to allow for the impacts of the pandemic to be gathered.

Jo Lappin, Chief Executive of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “It is really important that businesses know that this is a genuine survey and I would really like to encourage any businesses that are approached to take part in this. The responses that they provide will help shape strategy and policy development and decision making in the months and years ahead.

“I very much appreciate the pressure that our businesses and organisations are currently under, but we’d very much like to enlist their help with this important data gathering exercise, so that all organisations are represented and their interests are served, going forward. The answers provided are completely confidential – the commissioning partners only receive aggregated findings, not individual responses. This information is really important in understanding the economic picture at both sectoral and area level, which in the present climate, will support our mitigation activities and inform future business recovery activity in relation to COVID-19.

“I would therefore encourage all businesses that are asked to complete the survey to take part, so that we are able to provide a comprehensive and accurate picture on what is happening in Cumbria’s economy.”

Cumbria County Council Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Property, David Southward, said: “We’re working with Cumbria LEP, district councils and the Chamber of Commerce to support businesses across Cumbria and to understand the impacts of the pandemic. This survey will inform how we all continue to work together to do the best for businesses and the local economy. If you are contacted please take 20 minutes to support this important survey.”

Carlisle City Cllr Paul Nedved, portfolio holder for Economy, Enterprise and Housing added: “We’re delighted to be supporting this survey and would encourage local businesses to take part if they are contacted. It’s important that we get to hear the issues affecting businesses so that we can work together to provide the most appropriate support. Thanks to all those involved in drawing this together.”

BMG adheres to the Code of Conduct of the Market Research Society and operates strictly within the GDPR framework. Responses will not be linked to individual companies or respondents without their prior consent. If you’d like more information about the survey please contact Ginny Murphy at Cumbria County Council by email at [email protected] or Emma Osborne at BMG Research at [email protected]. More information about BMG Research and its privacy policy can be found on their website: http://www.bmgresearch.co.uk/privacy

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