Publiceret: 15.09.2016Af Felix Bekkersgaard Stark mail
Only four percent of Danish businesses would move abroad if they could complete such a move without any costs.
That is the result of the Local Business Climate 2016 survey in which about 7,000 businesses answered the question ‘If you could theoretically locate your business anywhere without changing its form or size where would you relocate to?’
Six out of ten respondents said that they would locate their business in the same place. Only four percent responded that they would move abroad. The rest would move to a major city.
“The overall picture that emerged from our Local Business Climate 2016 survey shows that businesses are broadly satisfied with the service and environment offered by the Danish municipalities. They feel rooted in the local community that they are part of,” says Director General Karsten Dybvad of the Confederation of Danish Industry.
One of the businesses that does not want to move is stair manufacturer Dolle, located in Thisted in north of Jutland.
The company’s managing director is a Frenchman called François Grimal who greatly values the mind-set he has found in North Jutland.
“This is a difficult question because, as a businessman, I know that there would be benefits to be had from being closer to a major city, a motorway and an airport. But if you ask me as a private individual, I would not move if you paid me. I am French and workinging with employees and being able to practise a management style that assumes that employees themselves take responsibility and drive developments is fantastic. That kind of attitude cannot be bought,” says François Grimal.
He is particularly happy about the attitude of his unskilled employees.
“They really work fantastically hard and they show great enthusiasm for making the company run as well as possible. I would not want to lose that,” says the managing director.
See also: Businesses searching in vain for staff
Among the businesses that would be more open to moving some of their activities is Hans Jensen Lubricators, a company headquartered in Hadsund, southeast of Aalborg.
“We have no specific plans in place for moving or scaling back our activities here in Hadsund. But we think about it continuously, about whether we should launch new activities locally or in other places. For example, a development division in Copenhagen or Aalborg or a service division in Singapore. Of course, we are very much constrained by the decisions that we have already made. That is why moving is a big and complex decision. If we moved, we would lose the invaluable know-how and experience that the employees who would not be able to go with us have,” says Rasmus H. Jensen.
But he believes that attracting the highly qualified employees that the company increasingly needs would be easier if the company was located closer to a major city.
“Here in Hadsund we are far from our customers. We supply shipping companies and shipbuilders all over the world, and it would be quite a lot easier to tempt customers to come and visit if we were located close to an international airport,” says Managing Director Rasmus H. Jensen.
He does not believe that the Municipality of Mariager Fjord in which the company is located would be able to make a great difference to the challenges that his company faces because of its location. But he mentions two points that he thinks the municipality could help with.
“We have to be able to attract the manpower we need, and the infrastructure, including public transport, needs to make it as easy as possible to come and go,” says Rasmus H. Jensen.
This echoes the responses from the Local Business Climate 2016 survey which shows that it is businesses located in municipalities that are far away from a major city that would move to a larger city in the same area. Infrastructure and access to manpower are the most important considerations when choosing a location.
“I would encourage the municipalities to use the Local Business Climate survey published by the Confederation of Danish Industry to give them ideas about where to concentrate their efforts. They should all want to retain jobs and attract new investments and jobs to their geographical area. A particularly important task for the municipalities is to help local businesses attract the employees they need,” says Karsten Dybvad.