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A random thought to boost business in the community

A random thought to boost business in the community
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Do you ever ask yourself whose responsibility this is? Aren’t Central and local government and the Bank of England tasked with this?

If your business is doing well and has been one of the success stories to rise out of the recession then hearty congratulations. Your success is no doubt offering a boost in employment and supplier contracts to your local economy and there are additional and obvious benefits to this.

For some localised businesses however, a return to growth seems a long way off. Securing the right amount of funds to invest in business continues to be difficult as banks are still refusing to take the risk and are sometimes downright myopic.

The good news we hear is that the economy is showing signs of growth as reported by Bank of England Interest Setting Committee who have revised this year’s final quarter estimates from 0.5% to 0.7%. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has also revised its prediction to a 1.5% growth in the UK economy compared with 0.8% set in May 2013. The Metro reported in 3 Sept that retail spending (excl fuel) was expected to increase year on year to August by 2.3%, this in spite of inflation continuing to outstrip wage growth.

So, with all these signs pointing to a brighter future it is madness that there are good businesses, which are often at the tail end of the supply chain, still caught up in the recession’s grip. Firefighting to keep a business viable, lack of investment, and strident cutbacks in all but the essentials does not give these companies sufficient leverage to bounce back.

It has occurred to me that successful businesses could offer assistance to struggling businesses with a view to passing on knowledge, motivation, physical help, and hard cash. Help could take many forms: mentoring where support and advice is needed, financial investment to enable the business to ‘gear-up for growth’, manpower investment (i.e. sharing skills by deploying employees of the successful business to work in the struggling business for a stated period), the list could go on.

The benefits to the successful business are the positive message it sends to employees and future employees, owning a share of a growing business, developing new skills acquired via supported business, positive PR, developing good community relations.

The community benefits as more successful businesses create employment, demand for accommodation (and schools, health centres etc), increase spending in the community occurs….the positive knock-on effect is fairly tangible.

The downside is if the supported company fails. It is a risk and an important consideration – how likely is it to fail? So this is my random thought, but I would appreciate your view.


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