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Business Panel

Our business panel provides a valuable window into business confidence and economic optimism direct from businesses and social enterprises in our region.

About our business panel surveys 

Our regular business panel surveys include questions on performance and growth aspirations, and also explore relevant topical issues with businesses and social enterprises throughout the region.

The findings provide a temperature check of business confidence and help identify regional challenges and opportunities.

As panel membership is representative of the Highlands and Islands business population, it provides a strong evidence base that facilitates robust regional, sub-regional and sectoral information. 

Panel surveys are undertaken by Ipsos MORI on behalf of HIE. 

New: January 2024

This report, published in January 2024, presents findings from the survey carried out in November and December 2023. As well as tracking business confidence, performance and growth aspirations, it also explores business values, the ways in which businesses are engaging in different strands of community wealth building, immediate priorities and local economic opportunities. The survey also looked at the potential impacts of the import checks on products coming from the EU to the UK which are due to be phased in over 2024.

Previous surveys are available to view below.

Questions and Answers

Have a look through our Q&A section below to find out a bit more about the Business Panel, how it works and how you can take part.

What is the panel and data gathered for?

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 does the panel work?

Panel members are 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 are short, focused and turnaround time is quick. It allows us to gather data quickly which is extremely important in times of economic uncertainty.

How often will I be contacted?

We will ask you to contribute your views around three times a year.

Do I have to take part in every survey?

We strongly encourage participation in each survey but it's not compulsory to do so. 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, current economic challenges or particular sectors. We restrict the number of times you'll be contacted in any one year, we won't bombard you with requests to participate. 

How will the research findings be used?

Research findings will be used to inform planning, prioritisation of resources and decision-making within HIE. By taking part, you're helping us to understand the challenges our customers face in real-time which helps us to adapt our support and direct resources where it really matters and makes a difference to you and our region. 

How does panel membership benefit my business/organisation?

Participating in our surveys means that your voice and the issues that you face within your business or community are heard. 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?

Joining is easy and free. Please just fill out our short form and we'll include you in the next appropriate survey.

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