The Falkirk district’s small and medium sized firms are reporting a boost in business and expect more of the same for the rest of 2014.
Indications the local business community is continuing to recover from the recession were revealed during the annual Business Panel Update, organised by Falkirk Council’s Growth and Investment Unit, at Falkirk Town Hall earlier this month.
The free session also gave firms an in-depth briefing on the council’s plans for business support across the year.
Falkirk Council leader Craig Martin said: “The Business Panel Update is a crucial part of our work to ensure we continue to understand the needs of our business community and give them the opportunity to give feedback on how we can deliver the best possible service to help them thrive and develop.
“The indication given on the day about their positive progress, in what continues to be a difficult economic climate, is encouraging and we are working hard through our various services such as Business Gateway Falkirk and the Growth and Investment Unit to provide the support they need.”
This year’s meeting was attended by over 90 delegates, the majority representing the business services sector, while others came from manufacturing, retail and businesses in the primary sector such as agriculture and forestry.
A survey of attendees revealed 61 per cent have experienced higher year on year sales, while 73 per cent expected sales to increase in the following year and 40 per cent are also planning to invest more in their business in 2015.
Most encouraging, however, was the positive outlook for job opportunities in the Falkirk area, with 45 per cent of companies that participated in the survey stating they expected to recruit more staff next year.