Sara’s Blog: Quarterly Economic Survey and networking opportunities

For many years we have used our quarterly economic survey (QES) as a barometer on the local economy.

As we approach the twelve-month anniversary of the first full lockdown, and with the Chancellor’s Budget just around the corner, it is no understatement to say that this is one of the most important times for businesses across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire to complete the QES.

The information you provide will give an insight into the impact COVID 19 and lockdown have had on local business and will help to shape and influence current policy thinking with survey data being shared with the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), Government departments including HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office as well as the Bank of England.

The more businesses that the fill in the QES, the more weight it carries so we are keen to hear from firms of all shapes and sizes (starts ups, sole traders, SMEs, medium sized and large corporations) to provide an accurate picture of the current business landscape. It takes a maximum of five minutes to complete the online form.

We understand your time is precious, even more so now, so thank you in advance for your input to the survey. You can go straight to the QES here:

As we draw towards a year of virtual networking, memories of meeting up in a room with likeminded businesspeople could be from another age as we have all become so used to virtual meetings.

I know Zoom events or a catch up on Teams are becoming tiresome for many but for now it’s all we have, and we all need to hang in there until we can again meet face-to-face.

Perhaps the Prime Minister’s address on Monday will give us some idea of when this could be, but in the meantime, perhaps we should be thankful that we have the technology to be able to meet virtually. Imagine if this had happened ten years ago. The technology would be basic, and the broadband networks wouldn’t have been able to cope with the traffic.

Online forums and events are a lifeline of support for many independent firms providing, connectivity and a support network. Many businesses have found making connections vital in keeping their business brand visible during the pandemic.

We have our next Simply Networking event at 10am on Friday 26 February. It is a great opportunity to make some new contacts and put your business in the Spotlight. Hopefully, we will be ‘back in the room’ very soon but until then if you would like to come along to this free event you can by registering here:

If you want to talk to us about any business issues, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

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