THE POTENTIAL for economic growth in the district is ‘tremendous’ says Stratford District Council leader Tony Jefferson.
He was speaking after reading the results of the council’s latest biennial Business Survey, published as part of the authority’s Corporate Strategy to help and support the business community.
Just under 900 businesses – around a quarter of those in the district – responded to the survey.
Around six in ten rated the district a good place to do business, and three-quarters thought it was business-friendly.
Four in ten stated the main problem they faced was rising costs, while one in five said their business had been a victim of crime in the past 12 months.
Reducing business rates – set by central government but collected by the district council – and other charges remained the most popular option when asked how the area could be improved to help boost businesses and the economy. The percentage had however fallen by 20 points from 68 per cent in 2016.
Improving the road network remained around the same level as 2016 at 42 per cent, while 41 per cent wanted improved broadband connections, which was slightly less than two years ago.
The survey will be used to influence and shape the development and delivery of current and future plans and strategies, including the Draft Local Industrial and Economic Development Strategy for Stratford-on-Avon District, and the way the council administers National Non Domestic (Business) Rates.
Coun Jefferson said: “There are some excellent results in this survey. As a district our economic performance over the past decade has been excellent – on almost every metric we are above the national and regional benchmarks.
“We believe that the potential for economic growth in the district is tremendous. I am amazed by the potential we have and we need to do everything we can to ensure the potential is translated into reality.
“These results will help shape our Local Industrial and Economic Development Strategy. The significance of having a robust strategy cannot be overstated. It signals intent to all the businesses and organisations in the district.
“I strongly believe that if we have a strong and dynamic local economy it creates opportunities for all and that living in a prosperous and thriving district benefits the vast majority of people.
“One of the things that has become very clear to me over the past five months is the importance of meeting businesses and networking.”
Visit www.stratford.gov.uk to read the full survey.