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Local businesses optimistic about prospects despite challenges of falling customer demand and rising energy costs


Survey taken by Cheshire and Warrington businesses

Businesses in Cheshire and Warrington have expressed confidence for 2023 despite concerns around reduced customer demand and increasing energy costs.

A survey by Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, responded to by almost 300 businesses, has found that almost half of businesses are either very or somewhat confident about their prospects for 2023.

However, more than half of businesses said they were facing challenges with reduced customer demand and just under half raised concerns about energy costs.

Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub, part of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, is responsible for delivering support and guidance to businesses across the sub-region and will use the results of the survey to ensure its support is tailored to the needs of businesses.

Trevor Brocklebank, Deputy Chair of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “As we enter 2023, we know businesses are facing significant challenges when it comes to their costs and demand.

“We know that part of what makes small business owners so successful is their natural optimism but it is still encouraging to see that many consider the current financial situation nationally to be transitionary and that they are planning to weather the storm.

“We’re very proud of all the local businesses here in Cheshire that are thriving and helping our economy to grow. We know that there will be difficult months to come for many, but at the Local Enterprise Partnership, Marketing Cheshire and Growth Hub, we are ready to help them respond to these challenges and this survey will help us to do that.”

Cheshire and Warrington Growth Hub offers a range of support to businesses in areas including business growth, finance, new markets and more. 

Case study: Combermere Abbey

Combermere Abbey, a holiday cottage, bed and breakfast and wedding venue business near Nantwich on the border with Shropshire is one of many Cheshire businesses ‘cautiously optimistic’ for 2023.

Owner, Sarah Callander Beckett, hopes that the success of businesses like Combermere will have a positive knock-on effect to others.

Sarah Callander Beckett, owner of Combermere Abbey, said:I would say we are cautiously optimistic.

“More and more people want to get away from the city into the countryside, to take advantage of open spaces, privacy and that’s who we’re here for, those people who want a short break.

“We had a buoyant autumn on the B and B side and we’re expecting a busy summer as well for our cottages. We have bookings for weddings as far forward as 2025 and things usually start to get booked up at the beginning of the year.

“When we’re busy with weddings, other businesses benefit, the B and Bs, hotels, taxis, pubs and restaurants get that knock on effect. We know how vital the wedding business is for the local economy.

“Hopefully, we and all the other local businesses can have a positive 2023 despite the challenges we are facing and I am cautiously optimistic of that.”

Get in touch with the Growth Hub