East Sussex County Council (ESCC) first commissioned their annual business survey in 2007. In conjunction with our fieldwork partner, BMG Research, Quadrant was commissioned to conduct the survey in 2009 and again in 2010. The purpose of the survey is to obtain feedback on economic development issues from local businesses and provide learning to feed into strategic and operational planning carried out by ESCC and its partners.
What did we do?
Once the sample frame and questionnaire were agreed:
- Telephone interviews were conducted with over 1,000 local businesses across a variety of industry sectors
- Findings were analysed by sector and by East Sussex district/borough and regeneration area, identifying trend movements and any significant changes from previous survey responses
- A series of six theme papers, including Employees and Markets, and Finance, were created, incorporating key findings and suggested actions. An Executive Summary paper highlighted the overall findings, messages and actions.
- ESCC published the results of the survey under the theme papers on their ‘East Sussex in Figures’ website
What was the breakthrough for ESCC?
The survey provided a continuing strong understanding of East Sussex businesses’ situation and state of mind, enabling ESCC and its partners to develop strategies and plans with a much greater degree of insight. Our conclusions regarding possible interventions and suggestions for future survey enhancement were welcomed as adding value.