Business Survey Results 2018

Summary of 2018 Business Survey

Businesses in Denbighshire have given their verdict on the county’s economy. Despite a difficult trading environment affecting town centres across the UK and uncertainty over Brexit, the county’s business owners remain positive for the future, according to Denbighshire County Council’s 2018 Business Survey. More than 430 respondents took part in the annual survey, conducted by the Economic and Business Development Team, which helps inform the Council’s March for Business month.

Below is a summary of some of this year’s headline results. If you would like to see the results in more detail or have any specific questions then please contact us at

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Business confidence

Business confidence remained much the same between 2017 and 2018. 73% of businesses surveyed expect an increase in customer numbers which was up 13% on last years’ results and 65% reporting they anticipated an increase in sales, which was a small rise from the 2017 survey results.

Digital Connectivity

Respondents also gave positive feedback on improvements to mobile coverage, something the Council has been working on with the Welsh Government and mobile network providers. Respondents feel mobile reception is adequate for their business needs. This improvement has been felt across the board for all types of mobile use. With regards broadband, the proportion of businesses who are aware they have access to superfast broadband has increased slightly from 33% in 2017 to 37% this year. The number of businesses who use superfast broadband has risen slightly this year to 35%, which is a significant increase from the 2016 survey which was 20%.

Product promotion

Surprisingly, the vast majority of businesses promoting their products still use word of mouth, with all other forms of promotion have been reduced. Print production has seen the highest reduction in its use for product promotion. Denbigh and St Asaph are the most technologically advanced promoters in the county with some of the lowest uses of print media and highest use of web and social media. The use of multi-channel marketing increases with business size. Newer businesses (under 2 years) are not using print media for promotion.

Trade reach

There was little change in the trade reach of businesses between 2017 and 2018 however, in 2018 a larger number of businesses indicated that they would like to trade further. In general it is our larger businesses who are more likely to trade with the EU and less likely only to trade locally.

Constraint – recruitment

Fewer businesses recruited staff in 2018 than they had in 2017. A greater number of businesses had also expressed that they had issues when recruiting, especially when finding suitable applicants.

Training Content

Between 2017 and 2018 there has been a big increase in the number of businesses wanting training but little change in the training priorities of businesses. There has been slight increase in the interest of businesses in training for visual merchandising, export, social media and e-commerce.

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