Shropshire Chamber of Commerce has launched its latest quarterly survey to assess the health and confidence of the local business community.

The anonymous survey, which only takes a few minutes to complete, is collecting information about trading conditions during the first quarter of this year.

It questions employers on a range of key issues including cashflow, sales, skills, training, recruitment, investment, and business confidence.

The survey is carried out by Shropshire Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the British Chambers of Commerce and is part of the largest and most respected survey of its kind in the UK.

The Shropshire results and comments are fed directly into the national database, which is used by central government and the Bank of England to help understand business pressures and needs, and set interest rates.

Ruth Ross, Shropshire Chamber’s deputy chief executive, said: “It’s really important for us that as many businesses as possible take time to fill in this survey.

“It is completely anonymous – so that you can speak freely - and takes only a few minutes. Every single business voice matters. The greater the voice, the greater the influence we can have to support the businesses of Shropshire.”

The previous survey, covering the final three months of 2022, revealed that many Shropshire businesses were starting this year under ‘immense pressure’ due to a combination of energy costs, staff shortages, increased taxes and wage inflation.

More than 80% said they were now having to offer higher salaries in an attempt to fill vacancies, or retain staff.

Many businesses said they were expecting to see profits dented in the coming year, with relatively stable turnover against a sharp rise in operating costs, the results revealed.