Business support

HIE Business Panel

Highlands and Islands businesses, community groups and social enterprises are invited to join our HIE Business Panel.

By joining the panel, you can take part in regular surveys on the region’s economy. 

The surveys are very important in helping HIE to obtain up to date information on the economic health of the region. They will help supplement official statistics with a more real-time “finger-on-the-pulse” sense of what’s happening.

The surveys will also give you an opportunity to inform us of the challenges and opportunities facing businesses, community groups and social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands. The information you give us can help inform and shape the provision of support services in the future and ensure that public resource is continuously being targeted in the areas that will make the greatest difference in supporting the region’s economic growth.

Sign up and have your say

Frequently asked questions:

  • What will the panel do?
    The information gathered through the Panel will help us to understand what's happening across the Highlands and Islands economy by providing detailed insight into the challenges and opportunities that are currently presenting themselves across the region. 
  • How will the panel work?
    Panel members will be asked to take part in a series of surveys covering topics such as business confidence, access to finance, changing markets, operational constraints, labour market issues, exporting, etc. As demographic details are already held, the surveys will be short and focused and turnaround time will be quick, meaning that information can be gathered rapidly which is extremely important in times of economic uncertainty.
  • How often will I be contacted?
    We aim to survey around four times a year.
  • Do I have to take part in every survey?
    We strongly encourage participation but it is by no means compulsory.  All panel members can expect to be sampled at some point in the given year although the frequency of contact may vary depending on the topics being explored, especially when looking at particular sectors or geographic areas.  Contact with Panel members will be restricted so that you are not overloaded with surveys.  
  • How will the research findings be used?
    Research findings will be used to inform planning, prioritisation and decision-making within HIE.  The information you provide will help keep us informed of the needs of our wide range of customers and  ensure that we are well placed to support the businesses, social enterprises and communities we serve.
  • How will panel membership benefit my business/organisation?
    Participating in our surveys means that your voice and the issues that face your business or community are represented within those being shared with HIE.  You will also receive the results of all surveys in which you take part. This means that you’ll be able to compare the issues affecting your business with others in the region.
  • How do I join?
    Please complete our online registration form

All information provided will be securely held on HIE’s Management system and, in accordance with the Data Protection Act (1998).  It will only be used for the activities we have outlined to you here. You can unsubscribe from the HIE Business Panel at any time by emailing

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