04 Jan Thames Valley businesses: challenges for 2019
Thames Valley businesses – predictions for 2019
While 2018 was an unpredictable year, many of the challenges that rocked the year, from Brexit to pressures on the high street, look set to continue in 2019 according to KPMG. However despite the uncertainty over the national agenda there is plenty of scope for optimism this year in the Thames Valley:-
- In 2018 the Thames Valley continued to attract investment and has a vibrant economy with some of the best commercial ties with the rest of the world. This is set to continue.
- In 2019 the region will have even better transport links with central London which will feed many of the innovative businesses in the region across sectors such as technology and life sciences.
- It is hoped that the underlying strength of the Thames Valley economy, and the businesses that operate here, will mean continued investment and job creation in 2019.
- Businesses that have contingency plans in place for Brexit will be better set however if we end up with a no deal scenario the cost of warehousing for example, will increase substantially.
- Challenges on the high street will continue. Brexit uncertainty will curb consumer spending and tighten retailer’s margins.
- Technological innovations will also create new jobs, from online website designers and Artificial Intelligence (AI) specialists to those involved in designing, supervising, repairing and maintaining robots-this is reflected in STEM becoming STEAM.
However according to Lloyds Commercial Banking, Business Barometer, business confidence in the South East region fell four points during December. Companies in the South East region had reported higher confidence in their business prospects in November, but optimism about the economy turned in December with continued uncertainty over Brexit. This is in line with the national trend. The Business Barometer provides early signals about UK economic trends both regionally and nationwide.
On a positive note, businesses’ hiring intentions show a net balance of 12% of businesses in the region are expecting to hire more staff during the next year, up five points on last month.
So what are the challenges ahead for Thames Valley businesses according to Page Hardy Harris?
- Greater business support from LEPs to ensure that local skills meet the needs of today’s business and work environments.
- Continue to promote Thames Valley as a good location for business, leisure, learning and life.
- Encourage new investment and business retention across all sectors, particularly Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT).
- Actively support sustainable rejuvenation and regeneration projects in key locations such as Slough, Wokingham and Maidenhead.
If you would like to speak to one of our agency team about commercial property in The Thames Valley please contact us here