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Price Bailey research shows Norfolk businesses are outstripping regional counterparts in growth terms

Norfolk's owner managed businesses are growing faster than those in the rest of the East of England, according to new research. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Norfolk's owner managed businesses are growing faster than those in the rest of the East of England, according to new research. Picture: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Owner managed businesses in Norfolk are outstripping their counterparts in the rest of the East of England and London in growth terms, despite negative impacts from Brexit, according to new research.

Norwich-based accountants Price Bailey found two thirds (68%) of businesses surveyed in the county had grown financially over the past year, compared with 57% in the region and the capital.

Meanwhile more than half (54%) of Norfolk business owners said they expected their company’s finances to improve over the next year, compared with 50% in the East and London.

However the implications of Brexit still loom large, with 26% of Norfolk firms reporting it has already damaged their business compared with 8% who had seen a positive impact.

The research, Inside the Minds of Business Leaders, was undertaken by Ipsos MORI and involved interviews with 200 business leaders across the East of England and London.

The results were unveiled at Dunston Hall Hotel near Norwich yesterday in a panel discussion with representatives from the Norfolk Chamber, Institute of Directors and Bank of England.

Martin Clapson, managing partner at Price Bailey, said: “The businesses in Norfolk we surveyed reported significantly better financial performance and tend to be more optimistic about growth than their peers in the rest of the East of England and London.

“This is positive, but those business leaders who said Brexit is having a negative impact cited the devaluation of the pound as a major concern, which for many will have meant increased costs they must absorb.

“Norfolk businesses were the least likely to export compared to the other areas, with nearly two thirds transacting no business outside the UK. This leaves them disproportionately affected by the fall in the value of the pound and, unlike exporters, unable to benefit from the competitive advantage the cheap pound confers in overseas markets.”

The research also showed just 40% of Norfolk business owners have a plan they regularly review – the lowest among business leaders in the areas surveyed.

Mr Clapson said: “A business plan is an important document for owners who want to manage their businesses more effectively. It is doubly valuable during a period of economic uncertainty, such as we are experiencing now.”

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