A virtual conference hosted by Cornwall based web developers, UKNetWeb, highlighted local optimism in the face of growing fears that the UK economy is facing a recession.
The virtual event which took place yesterday (2nd September) featured a keynote speech from respected economist, and former Finance Cornwall Chief Executive, Lord Robin Teverson.
Guests at the event included a range of local business owners as well as Stephen Bohane, Head of Business Development in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly within The South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA) and Terrye Teverson, Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Truro and Falmouth.
Talking about the Cornish economy Lord Teverson said,
“We’ve had the accepted mantra that when the rest of the UK plunges into recession, Cornwall is hit even harder – certainly in terms of unemployment – and we then come out of recession later than the rest of the country. But over the last decade, since the last recession in the early 1990s, Cornwall has arguably become more confident and resilient.”
“It’s received a lot of European funding which has meant that new investment in people, infrastructure, and businesses has taken place. Distance has become less important because of information technologies, and Cornwall has had a high take up of broadband. “
“A number of SMEs will fall by the wayside – but by managing costs very carefully, keeping the sales and marketing going, and avoiding bad debts they can survive and be even stronger on the other side when things get better.”
“SMEs need to make sure they keep close not just to their customers but also their staff and suppliers. Loyalty and trust gets to be pretty important during difficult times.” He continued.
Discussion and questions followed the main presentation with topics discussed including; the continuing improvements to the ICT infrastructure in Cornwall, bad weather and the tourism sector, manufacturing, business cash flow and budgets, the government’s announcement on Stamp Duty and the rise of Eastern Economies such as China and India.
Overall the mood was optimistic with many businesses not yet feeling the effects of any downturn. A direct question from Stephen Bohane on how individual businesses were fairing prompted responses of ‘never busier’ and ‘we are forging ahead with our growth’ from the assembled business owners.
The virtual event entitled ‘Insight:Recession’ is the first part of a series of events planned by UKNetWeb to help businesses in Cornwall and further afield gain insight into a particular subject of relevance to an SME operating within the county.
Commenting on the first session Toby Parkins, UKNetWeb Managing Director said,
“Given the amount of discussion and media coverage presently surrounding fears that the UK is falling into a recession we felt is was time to help businesses in Cornwall improve their understanding of them and their potential effect on our local economy.
“Lord Teverson has a lot of knowledge on the economy in general; however, his deep insight into the local economy made him an ideal candidate to explain how a recession might play out within the region.”
“We were very pleased with the turnout and believe that everybody was able to take something useful away from the experience.”
A full transcript of Lord Teverson’s speech and the following discussion is available to download from http://www.uknetweb.com/docs/insight-recession.pdf. For information on future events please contact Aren Grimshaw at UKNetWeb on 01872 555933 or email [email protected]