Supply chain issues top East Anglia business concerns yet businesses continue to hire and boost pay

  • Supply chain issues and the ongoing impact of Brexit are cited as the biggest threats facing East Anglia’s mid-sized businesses over the next six months, alongside record inflation and cost of living crisis
  • Despite this, a third of businesses in the region are looking to grow their workforce with more than 40% increasing starting salary offers because of increased competition for talent

Nearly a third of mid-sized businesses in East Anglia said supply chain issues are the biggest threat to business success over the next six months and 34% are most concerned about the ongoing impact of Brexit, according to new research by accountancy and business advisory firm, BDO.

The bi-monthly Rethinking the Economy survey of 500 leaders of medium-sized businesses found a third of businesses in the region are planning to grow their workforce currently, but face rising costs in doing so with more than 40% sharing they are increasing starting salary offers because of the extreme competition for the best talent.

As businesses prioritise supporting staff through the cost of living crisis over the next six months, 37% of companies in the region are planning to raise salaries by 9% or more in line with current inflation rates. Aside from changes to salary, 60% of companies in East Anglia said they are allowing staff to spend more time working from home specifically to avoid travel and other costs.

Peter Harrup, head of BDO in East Anglia said: “Companies continue to face extreme challenges from supply chain to Brexit aftershocks and rising inflation and this is placing a real squeeze on company finances.  Even with these dynamics, businesses are still expanding their talent pool and looking at ways to support their teams with salary increases and expanding their talent.”

Companies in East Anglia are also looking towards innovation to counteract the impact of inflation with one in three saying they will launch new products or service or introduce new systems to increase efficiency and reduce costs across their business.

Peter added: “It’s enormously encouraging – but not surprising given the entrepreneurial spirit in the region – that businesses here are responding to current rates of inflation by rethinking their operations and innovating.”

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