Photo: Department for Communities and Local Government / Flickr

Locals trust West Midlands more than UK businesses

Businesses in the West Midlands are viewed as more trustworthy by local people than their national counterparts.

A YouGov survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) revealed that 76 percent of people in the West Midlands reported having positive direct experiences with businesses locally, but only 54 percent trusted UK businesses as a whole.

The results were published on Monday 8 December, as part of CBI’s Great Business Debate, which aims to promote the contribution made by business to society and rebuild public trust in businesses.

Almost half of the 351 survey respondents from the West Midlands also believed that local businesses supported each other by sourcing locally. As a result, local businesses were regarded as having a positive impact upon the communities they operated in.

The figures from the West Midlands correlated with those across the rest of the UK, with 81 per cent claiming to put their trust into local business. These results have led the CBI to call for businesses to create a greater public awareness of their investment in local communities.

CBI West Midlands director Richard Butler said of the campaign: “We are challenging individuals to think about the contradiction in how they perceive businesses locally and business generally.

“We are also calling on firms in the West Midlands to tell more convincingly the story of their impact on jobs, investment and taxes which is felt in communities all over the country.”

West Midlands businesses also provide employment for many people in the student communities across the region’s twelve universities. Catherine Holbrook, a second-year English Literature student at the University of Warwick has worked in independent businesses in Leamington Spa.

Ms Holbrook commented: “I was attracted to working for a local business because you deal with owners face-to-face and you can directly express the number of commitments you have as a student at university.

“Whereas, a lot of national businesses have graduate schemes, which perhaps highlights a slight disconnect with students who want to work alongside their studies. To have some reassurance of empathy from my employer is something that I need in order to continue in a workplace.”

However 71 percent of those surveyed from the West Midlands believe that local businesses should still be doing more to improve their surrounding areas by creating and supporting more local jobs.

As a result, the CBI will continue to campaign for corporations to engage more in the areas in which they operate and reconnect with the local community.


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