Small Businesses Say Buy British

Buy British, say British firmsA survey of 1,000 purchasing professionals shows that support for British suppliers should be a government priority…

Encouraging figures have indicated that the UK still has a healthy manufacturing sector and figures from a survey show that businesses think that the government should do more to promote and support a "Buy British" initiative.

When asked, 70% of UK businesses believed that government support for the manufacturing sector was needed to give British production a boost. In the public sector that figure rose to 75%.

Businesses also thought that the government itself had a duty to buy from British companies with three quarters of those polled believing so.

Other findings from the study found that Wales is the most patriotic and supportive region in the UK and that the sports & recreation sector was the most likely to "Buy British".

When asked if they would be actively seeking to source British suppliers in the future, an average of 47% of those questioned responded that they would be doing so. Breaking down the particular sectors seeking British firms, the manufacturing and engineering sector came out top with 62% followed by the science-related industries and agricultural sector, both with 56% of businesses saying they would actively seek out British suppliers in the future.

Looking deeper into the reasons for encouraging a "buy British" initiative, firms said that their major concerns were reducing transport costs, reducing their carbon footprint and a desire to simplify or shorten their supply chains.

Customers seem to have played an important part in influencing buying decisions since the economic downturn with 50% of buyers believing that buying British is a good way of supporting British businesses and securing British jobs. 43% of those asked felt that the recent recession had changed attitudes toward making people more likely to buy British.

David Brimelow, Managing Director of Duo UK, the firm that commissioned the study, said of the results:

“It is common sense for businesses to support each other by buying British where commercially viable, and through our research it is clear this view is shared by UK businesses across the board. Buying ‘local’ is a choice that we urge all companies and consumers to make moving forwards and in doing so support not only the local manufacturer, but also the local economy, local jobs market and other supporting local industries.”

 He continued:

“With all eyes on the government to do more to support manufacturing in the UK, it is encouraging to see big businesses also seem willing to play their part, with the likes of John Lewis, Tesco and Marks and Spencer among those which have already adopted a Buy British message within their high profile marketing campaigns.”

Shadow Business Secretary, Chuka Umunna, also commented on the findings, adding:

“Manufacturing is incredibly important to the health of the UK economy and in helping Britain to emerge from difficult times stronger than ever before with more better paid, high skilled jobs. It’s great to see businesses like Duo, which I visited last year, taking the call to action to the government and championing British manufacturing on behalf of the industry.”

The findings were published in a handy infographic which you can see here.

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