Calderdale firms are reporting a surge in domestic sales activities as pent-up demand is unleashed following the relaxing of restrictions from April.

The Quarterly Economic Report, created in partnership between the Mid Yorkshire and West & North Yorkshire Chambers of Commerce and Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), shows that while international sales remain subdued for many, stronger forward orders are helping to reduce the impact of these challenges.

The report also reveals that 50% of manufacturers and 40% of services businesses have seen increased recruitment activity in the last quarter. The number of companies looking to grow their headcount next quarter is also back to pre-Covid levels.

Intentions for both capital and training have also returned to pre-Covid levels. Following more than a year of holding back on investment, many firms are now moving forward with plans.

Martin Hathaway, managing director of the Mid Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce said of the Q2 report:

“Despite ongoing challenges and disruption, the results of the quarter two survey are promising, as we continue to emerge from restrictions, and show that employment and investment intentions are on the rise.

“However, hospitality, events, travel and many more industries are still having to work tirelessly to keep their businesses afloat and continue trading, with many still facing major disruption, confusion and stress.

“UK manufacturers have also experienced increased pressures over the last quarter, caused partly by massive rises in haulage costs and shortages in sourcing components, raw materials and construction products.

“We must not forget the sectors that are still facing challenges, especially as more and more are able to reopen and return to ‘business as usual’. There is still much more to be done and we hope that, in quarter three and beyond, our businesses can continue to recover and flourish.

“We look forward to nurturing and supporting a more resilient, more determined workforce after the events of the last 18 months.”

Chief executive of Calderdale Council, Robin Tuddenham, added:

“Rebuilding from the pandemic together will be key to achieving our Vision2024 for Calderdale. The borough’s major regeneration work received a welcome boost recently, with the announcement of a massive £18 million investment into Calderdale through the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

“This will help to transform Elland and Halifax high streets, build a stronger future for our economy and create new opportunities for businesses. Partnership work is also progressing well on the Town Deals for Brighouse and Todmorden and the Sowerby Bridge High Streets Heritage Action Zone.”