Business Leaders Take a Look into the Future

69 percent see business growth, 56 percent support staying in the EU

More than 100 business leaders gathered at Dunston Hall last night to hear the results of a research project examining the concerns, issues and future of the region’s business community and its relationship with Europe.

The research project entitled ‘Inside the Minds of Business Leaders’ was commissioned by accountants and business advisers Price Bailey and conducted by renowned research company Ipsos MORI.

Predictably the liveliest section of the event was the discussion around Europe and Brexit, with very contrasting views between the panel members and within the audience. The MORI research showed that around half of businesses across East Anglia were in favour of staying in the EU. However, an interactive poll on the night found that 56 percent of the audience would opt to stay in the EU with 29 percent voting to leave. However, when asked what the effect of Brexit would have on their businesses two in five (42 percent) said that the effect would neither be positive or negative.

The research also found that 46 percent were optimistic about the county’s economic prospects and 58 percent said their business was growing. However the interactive poll on the night saw that figure rise to 69 percent.

In addition to the presentation by MORI an expert panel comprising Tim Pike, Deputy Agent for the South East at the Bank of England; James Sproule, Chief Economist and Director of Policy at the IoD, Maxine Dolan, former Group Leadership Development Director at Tesco, and Karl Sandall, CEO of TaxAssist, were on hand to offer their views and opinions and contribute to the sometimes very lively discussion.

The evening was chaired by Norwich-based Price Bailey Partner Daren Moore who said of the event: “We felt that much of the information available to businesses failed to address business confidence at a regional level and was often out of date. We therefore commissioned this real-time research which has been collected within the last few months from a large number of regional business owners. It was a great evening and the reaction from our clients and guests was overwhelmingly positive.”