The year ahead, in my view, looks promising for most Gloucestershire businesses whether large or small. The mood in the business community is generally positive and growth is predicted in a range of sectors.
The fall in the oil price is likely to be sustained for a while and this is particularly helpful to rural businesses where lower fuel costs are a boost to profitability.
The GFirst LEP business plan for the county will start to be implemented in earnest in 2015. Businesses need to know how to get the help they need, and the Growth Hub is already proving very popular advising growing businesses and start-ups.
Securing the funding for the A417 ’missing link’ was a great example of what can be achieved when the Gloucestershire community works together and the success of this campaign should encourage more collective positive action to secure what is needed in our county.
2015 will, of course, be a year of political posturing as all of the parties will be trying to demonstrate their business friendly credentials. An election, however, tends to lead to short term vote grabbing measures and promises.
Tackling longer term issues such as the skills gap, the housing shortage and the pension crisis take braver decisions and I predict that these will be left to the next government whatever shade or
multicoloured coalition that might be.