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Nearly a third of South West businesses in 'better elf' this Christmas - Lloyds

The Business Magazine article image for: Nearly a third of South West businesses in 'better elf' this Christmas - Lloyds
12 December 2022

Despite high inflation, rising energy prices and a tighter labour market, 32 per cent of South West businesses expect this Christmas trading period to be merry and bright compared to last year, according to the latest insight from the Lloyds Bank Business Barometer.

Those predicting a bumper festive period cited increased demand (29 per cent), while easing of trading was cited by 21 per cent of firms as they felt less affected by Covid restrictions due to the Omicron variant last year.

Those expecting a worse Christmas trading period said they were struggling with increased costs of doing business and ongoing inflationary pressures (15 per cent).

Three-quarters of South West businesses surveyed said that Christmas was important for their future prospects (74 per cent), with almost a third of firms reporting to be Christmas-ready.

However, over half (55 per cent) said they are not yet fully prepared for the festive period.

When asked what could help firms prepare more effectively, 34 per cent said they wanted greater access to temporary staff, with 32 per cent saying that faster payment terms with their customer base would help.

Better access to more efficient and local supply chain networks is also on firms’ wish lists, with 28 per cent saying this would boost Christmas trading.

Amanda Dorel, regional director for the South West at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, said: “The festive period is a busy time for all businesses, and many see the likelihood of higher demand and revenues over the next few weeks.

"With key sectors such as hospitality and retail now approaching their first Christmas without any restrictions since 2019, it's encouraging to see confidence brewing for the festive trading period."


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Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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