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Buying local is a top priority for East Anglia’s businesses, says survey

PUBLISHED: 09:57 21 July 2014 | UPDATED: 09:57 21 July 2014

Ken Venables at Signs Express in Norwich.

Ken Venables at Signs Express in Norwich.


Buying local produce at an honest price is the priority for businesses in this region, a study has revealed.

The east’s passion for the provenance of goods has seen its results soar above the national average – with 86pc of small and medium sized companies in the area and just 77pc nationally choosing local suppliers.

The survey, carried out by Norwich-based Signs Express, asked more than 1,000 businesses across the country about their buying habits.

The top three reasons companies gave for choosing local suppliers was it helps boost the local economy, speaking to the supplier is easier if there are any problems, and there are benefits in dealing with people who play a positive role in the community.

Almost three quarters of those surveyed said good value and service are at the top of their list, with only five per cent of businesses in the east choosing the cheapest option.

Ken Venables, centre owner of the national sign company, which has its head office and sign production centre on Kingsway, in the city, said: “A large proportion of Signs Express customers are small and medium sized enterprises, so it’s really important that we understand their priorities when it comes to working with suppliers.

“What’s clear from our research is that SMEs are very committed to buying local. As the UK economy starts to show real signs of sustainable growth, quality service, reliability, professionalism and good value are ever more important.

“As suppliers, we all need to make sure we are adding value and addressing the needs of our customers.” The survey also revealed the biggest frustrations for companies in the east when dealing with suppliers were the issues of hard sell, inexperienced suppliers not being able to answer questions, quotes not being provided as promised and suppliers not turning up for appointments.

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