“Let the World know: Liverpool City Region is open for business and primed for growth”
Liverpool City Region is open for business is the message from new Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) Interim Chair Asif Hamid.
“I have taken over at the LEP at an extraordinary time; one where we are seeing challenges and uncertainties through the recent Referendum result but at the same time exciting opportunities for growth right across the City Region – opportunities that are clearly identified in our Growth Strategy,” says Asif.
On what impact the Referendum result may have on City Region business, Asif says: “We have reached out to our business community and listened to their views on what impact it will have on their business and a picture is starting to emerge.”
The LEP has had a dialogue with its member businesses and key stakeholders asking them about the impact of the Referendum result on their business. Of those responding, 50% said they expected it would have a negative impact on their business (citing the main reasons as access to EU funding, impact on employment and skills and investment decisions being delayed); 25% felt it was still too early to see what the impact would be but the lack of clarity from government and market instability was not helpful. 10% had mixed thoughts stating whilst there was early advantage with the pound falling there were longer term concerns; 5% felt relatively positive about the outcome feeling it may lead to wider exporting; 5% cited there would be no impact either way on their business.
On the consultation Asif states: “What we are seeing is a mixed picture: Some deals have been shelved since the Referendum but actually some businesses have reported a benefit due to the exchange rates. The biggest issue is uncertainty, which is the enemy of investment, and we will be impressing on Government the need to reduce this uncertainty wherever possible within the constraints of complex EU exit negotiations.
“What I would say to all businesses, is that if you are experiencing any challenges in your business as a result of the UK’s EU exit process please come and talk to us directly at the LEP or through the Local Growth Hub (www.localgrowthhub.com) which we have established with local partners to support our business community.”
He added: “As an entrepreneur myself, I can honestly say our business is thriving and we see significant growth in the pipeline. We won Investment of the Year in this year’s Regional Business Awards and we are very positive about the future. We need to be positive as a City Region and let the world know we are open for business and primed for growth.”
On his vision for the LEP going forward Asif says: “Our recently launched Growth Strategy clearly identifies the fantastic range of assets and opportunities we have across the City Region to attract investment and grow our business base. Just look at the strength of our growth sectors from Advanced Manufacturing through to Life Sciences and Health, Low Carbon to our celebrated Visitor Economy – all these sectors present real, tangible opportunities and where we will see growth for the future.”
Asif continues: “The LEP has a vital role to play in the growth of the City Region. It has done a fantastic job in mobilising the businesses in our key growth sectors and wider small business community to identify the opportunities for growth. We must now turn those opportunities into investment – and the LEP is working closely with the Combined Authority and with businesses to identify early actions and wins that can drive the economy forward.”
“To put it simply – Liverpool City Region has the people, know-how and the capacity for innovation to succeed in these uncertain times. We have a clear vision and strategy for growth but we must be bold and confident in its execution. Now is the time for action and I want to hear from any business with ambition and opportunity for growth to work with us to drive forward the economy of this great City Region and create more jobs for our residents.”