Birmingham’s business community is strongly optimistic about the region’s economy and its outlook for the next 12 months according to a survey1 of local business owners and professionals by Santander Corporate & Commercial.

The poll found that more than half (57%) are optimistic about the regional Birmingham economy, with only 5% pessimistic. Almost half (48%) think business sentiment will improve over the next 12 months – just 10% are negative on prospects. In addition, nearly half (47%) are positive on the prospects for local employment (of which 20% are very optimistic) with just 15% negative.

The research of local business sentiment was conducted to support Santander Corporate & Commercial’s red box event taking place in Birmingham at Brindley Place, B1 2JF from Monday 9 May to Friday 13 May.

The event will showcase the best of Birmingham’s SME sector and also Santander Corporate & Commercial’s extensive support for businesses across the West Midlands region. The five-day event consists of free-to-attend masterclasses and events aimed at ambitious business owners and local entrepreneurs.

The venue for the festival – Santander’s Breakthrough Moments Festival – is a versatile space for the business community to meet and share ideas and expertise with a range of stakeholders, and a number of local and UK businesses will be on hand to share their own success stories and insights.

Participating firms and organisations include AXA; Microsoft; Twitter; Siemens UK; Finance Birmingham; and the West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime unit.

Helping local firms to export and trade internationally will be a big focus for the five-day event. The local business sentiment survey found that three-fifths (59%) of respondents believe exporting and international trade are important for local business success. Just under one in ten (9%) don’t see exporting and international trade as important to the success of local businesses.

John Simkins, Regional Director, Santander Corporate & Commercial, said: “It is great to see that SMEs and business professionals in Birmingham and across the West Midlands are clearly confident about the future, are positive on local employment and see exporting and international trade as key to the success of local businesses. It is encouraging to see such positive sentiment among business owners who are so influential on the local economy as well as the wider UK economy too.

“Santander has been successfully growing its own presence in the West Midlands and we believe that with services such as our Breakthrough product, the Trade Portal and our growth capital lending programme, we are offering a highly differentiated service for businesses.”

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Notes to editors

1 Source: Research conducted among 107 SME and business owners in and around the Birmingham area and people set to attend to the Big Red Box festival in Birmingham. Data was collected via an online methodology

More information about the event can be found at
https://www.santandercb.co.uk/breakthroughmoments/birmingham

Santander UK is a financial services provider in the UK that offers a wide range of personal and commercial financial products and services. It has brought real competition to the UK, through its 1|2|3 products for retail customers and relationship banking model for UK SMEs. As at 31 December 2015, Santander UK was one of the most switched to banks. The bank serves more than 14 million active customers with c. 20,000 employees and operates through 857 branches and 70 regional Corporate Business Centres. Santander UK is subject to the full supervision of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) in the UK. Santander UK plc customers are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the UK.


About Us
Banco Santander (SAN.MC, STD.N, BNC.LN)
is a leading retail and commercial bank, based in Spain, with a meaningful market share in 10 core countries in Europe and the Americas. Santander is the largest bank in the euro zone by market capitalization and among the top banks on a global basis. Founded in 1857, Santander had EUR 1.51 trillion in managed funds, 13,000 branches and 194,000 employees at the close of 2015. In 2015, Santander made attributable profit of EUR 5,966 million, a 3% increase with respect to the previous year.

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