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Over half of North West small businesses make survival their six-month priority, as Meta offers free office space

  • 26% of small businesses surveyed in the North West fear that their business may close in the future, of which 51% fear so in the next 12 months.
  • More than a quarter (26%) used less energy in the last six months to ease the burden of spiralling costs.
  • Meta is launching “Space for Good Ideas”, offering North West businesses free access to office space to help with cost of living this winter.
  • Entrepreneur Grace Beverley to participate in free Meta Good Ideas Studio in Manchester, a two-day workshop of digital skills training, expert talks and networking sessions for small businesses

Over a quarter (26%) of small business decision makers in the North West fear their business may close, while over half (55%) say a major business priority in the next six months is survival – according to new data.

The research, conducted online by YouGov and commissioned by Meta, polled decision makers of North West companies with fewer than 50 employees. The findings cast stark light on the challenges facing firms as they seek to navigate the ongoing effects of the pandemic, soaring energy bills, rising interest rates and the cost-of-living crisis.

Almost a third (29%) of those polled worry their business won’t be able to keep up with their outgoings during the year ahead while over a quarter (26%) admit to using less energy to save on bills. Two in five (42%) say reducing costs would be crucial to their firm’s future success.

Small business support

With the cost of living expected to reach extraordinary heights this winter, Meta is launching “Space for Good Ideas,” offering small businesses in the North West the opportunity to apply for free access to office space and ease the burden of their rising costs throughout some of the toughest months. Businesses of fewer than 50 employees can apply at fb.me/goodideasstudios by November 25th 2022.

Meta has also teamed up with successful entrepreneur and CEO of sustainable activewear brand Tala and fitness brand Shreddy, Grace Beverley who will be participating in Meta’s Good Ideas Studio – a free event where local small business leaders can attend insightful panels, talks, workshops and trainings to help them grow their businesses, primarily online. The event will be held in Manchester at 1830 Warehouse, M3 4FP on 24–25 November.

These initiatives are the latest in Meta’s long-held commitment to giving small businesses the tools they need to better connect with their audiences and drive growth. This year, the company has supported 960,000 UK small businesses with digital skills training as part of the Meta Boost programme.

Business leaders provide personal financial support

Despite the tough operating landscape faced, one in five (20%) small businesses in the region have increased their staff’s salaries in the past six months. One in ten (10%) have given their employees a one-off or regular bonus, with 4% giving pay advances or direct support with bills to staff. Meanwhile, nearly one in five (18%) say that having the office space/building costs of their business covered would see them employ more staff or give current workers a pay rise.

Steve Hatch, VP Northern Europe, Meta, said, “Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy and right now they face the challenge of a lifetime just to keep the lights on. We know there’s no one fix to the challenges faced, however we believe through helping both online and offline we can provide support to local businesses in need. This is why we’re offering small businesses in the North West the opportunity to apply for free office space in a bid to ease costs.

“We also look forward to welcoming many local small business leaders to our Good Ideas Studio to learn about the many ways to help their business grow and succeed.”

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.

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