Community spirit

Commentary by Dr Adam Marshall, Director General, British Chambers of Commerce (BCC)

Adam MarshallAs someone who travels the length and breadth of the UK, meeting business communities in every nation and region, I know first-hand that inspiring companies can be found in every corner of the UK.

That’s why I am so pleased to welcome London Stock Exchange Group’s annual showcase of some of the very best businesses – of all sectors, sizes, regions and nations – whose innovative approach and can-do spirit leads them to new heights.

The dynamism of these businesses, and so many more like them, will be crucial to driving our economy forward through a period of significant change.

Growing businesses are only as strong as the teams they build. Their lasting success depends on recruiting and retaining the right people. The companies in this report are prime examples of recognising and fostering great talent and skills. Crucially, they are businesses that invest in their staff and develop the sort of modern working environments that make people feel valued and supported.

“These are firms that recognise that their own success is intrinsically linked to the success of the places they call home”

Alongside people, place also matters. As we see in Chamber business communities in our towns, cities and counties, dynamic businesses like those in this report often also have deep roots into local civic life.

These are firms that recognise that their own success is intrinsically linked to the success of the places they call home – and that a strong civic impact can lead directly to improvements to the bottom line. They are also the companies whose people engage with schools and colleges; champion local regeneration projects; support local charities; invest in apprentices and training; and act as ambassadors for their areas.

At this time of great political and economic change, it’s important for dynamic businesses to stay focused on the fundamentals – and to be willing to take calculated risks in order to grow.

Businesses across Britain have shown significant resilience over the past year, and many firms have done their best to ignore the ‘noise’ around them and concentrate their energies on developing their own products, markets and growth strategies. The 1000 companies showcased in this report are living proof that British businesses can seize opportunities and flourish, even in fast-changing conditions.

“Dynamic businesses like those in this report often have deep roots into local civic life”

That’s not to say that more cannot be done. As Chambers of Commerce all across the UK make clear, firms still face unacceptably high upfront costs, skills gaps and inadequate infrastructure – all of which present barriers to growth and success.

So as we champion the UK’s success stories, let us also champion the home-grown reforms that would enable dynamic companies, both present and future, not just to start up here in Britain – but to achieve their growth potential here, too.

Around the world, let us champion the UK’s entrepreneurial spirit, its innovative business culture, and its reputation as a positive and honest partner for trade. Now, more than ever, let’s show the world that our towns and cities – the homes of our dynamic businesses – are open for business.