Tees Business Issue 35 | Page 84



Business Risk Index reveals mixed bag for business bosses
Rising – Lee Elgie , managing director of Gallagher ’ s Stockton office , says UK bosses have cited the cost-of-living crisis as the biggest threat to their business .
Insurance broker Gallagher recently released its annual Business Risk Index , which shines a light on the challenges that UK business leaders are currently facing . Lee Elgie , managing director of Gallagher ’ s Stockton office , delves into what the findings tell us about the business landscape in the North-East .

The North-East is recognised for its strength in a range of industries , including manufacturing , healthcare and technology and is host to a thriving economy .

This success is likely to continue , with the new North-East Mayoral Combined Authority looking set to inject £ 1.4bn into the region over the next 30 years .
Long-term , this will bolster the North- East ’ s credentials as a fantastic place to work and to live , while driving the economy .
However , despite the positive outlook , businesses in the North-East aren ’ t without their challenges .
For example , although unemployment rates in the region have fallen , the North- East is still falling behind the rest of the UK .
Recent data from the Office for National Statistics revealed that the unemployment rate in the region was 4.1 per cent between November 2022 and January 2023 , compared to the national average of 3.7 per cent .
This issue reflects Gallagher ’ s recent Business Risk Index , which found that employee retention and the lack of skilled talent are two of the biggest risks facing businesses in the North-East .
Employee retention was cited higher up on the list of concerns this year compared to in 2022 , with bosses saying that the cost-of-living crisis was fuelling resignations as people look for higher salaries .
The main driving factors leading to a lack of skilled talent were said to be a shift in employee attitudes towards work and the hangover effect from the pandemic .
It is no secret that the region is experiencing a talent shortage , which is why apprenticeships have such an integral role to play in ushering in the next generation of talent to industries .
In conjunction with this , employers should be investing in their current colleagues and helping them to build their skillsets . After all , it is a loyal and wellskilled workforce that ultimately drives businesses forward .
However , it isn ’ t just employee-related risks that are weighing on the minds of business leaders in the North-East .
Our Business Risk Index revealed that bosses ranked the cost-of-living crisis as the third biggest risk facing their business , with the majority saying conditions were being driven by inflation and Brexit .
The cost-of-living crisis currently shows little slowdown , and for many businesses this will have a knock-on effect on their trading success and employees .
Scan the QR code to read Gallagher ’ s Business Risk Index :
Certainly , we know that the current inflationary backdrop is seeing more businesses struggling financially , and business insolvencies in the North-East remain at heightened levels .
We have found that businesses are more concerned than ever with late payments owed to their business , indicating that some suppliers are struggling to pay due to financial pressures .
Similarly , supply chain failures , cost of salaries and property damage all made an appearance on the top ten list of business risks , according to North-East bosses . Gallagher supports thousands of clients in the North-East across a range of industries by helping to identify and mitigate against the risks they face , as well as providing insurance to protect their business .
While no two businesses are the same , our Business Risk Index revealed that all firms are feeling the pressure of the economic climate .
In order to secure a successful future , bosses should ensure that they are protecting themselves as much as possible against the worst that could happen .
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