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Local business environment is like good red wine: It gets better and better

DI’s annual survey of local business environment shows record-high satisfaction among companies in the country’s municipalities. There is still room for improvement, however, when it comes to infrastructure and access to qualified employees.
Since 2010 the Confederation of Danish Industry has studied the local business environment in the country’s municipalities. This has helped put focus on conditions and growth opportunities for businesses.

Publiceret: 07.09.2017
Af Peter G. H. Madsen mail

Up, up and up. That sums up the development of companies’ satisfaction with business-friendliness in Denmark’s municipalities in recent years.

Almost two out of three of the 7,600 companies that participated in the Confederation of Danish Industry’s (DI) survey of the local business environment responded they are satisfied or very satisfied with the business-friendliness in their municipality. That is the highest level of satisfaction since DI started surveying the business environment in 2010.

CEO at the Confederation of Danish Industry Karsten Dybvad sees the companies’ response as a clear sign that the business environment has really been on the agenda in municipalities across the country.

“Municipal politicians and employees in the country’s municipalities are focusing more and more on conditions for local companies. That is extremely positive. A good business environment is crucial if companies are to be able to develop and create both growth and jobs throughout the whole country,” he says.

See also: Municipality business-friendliness hits record high

Ikast-Brande wins yet again

At the top of this year’s list of municipalities with a good business environment lies Ikast-Brande. The municipality has thereby taken first place in the business climate surveys of the past three years.

In second and third place come the municipalities of Hedensted and Herning respectively, which ranked among the top five last year as well.

Not until fifth place do we find a municipality from Zealand, namely Høje-Taastrup, which has made an impressive leap from number 11 to 5 in this year’s survey.

Karsten Dybvad notes that it is especially companies further away from the bigger cities that have become more satisfied with the conditions and the services offered by the municipalities. 

“Many of the companies that are located further from big cities are currently facing challenges, because they have a hard time attracting employees. It is therefore pleasing to see that the municipalities are taking steps to create a good business environment. This helps to ensure that the companies can develop,” he says and adds:

“A good business environment also benefits the municipalities. Local jobs are the foundation for growth, and without them there would be no funds for kindergartens, schools and elderly care, which will undoubtedly be hot topics during municipal election campaigns this autumn.” 

See also: DI plan secures companies 35,000 extra heads

Companies want roads and labour

Even though there are many positive findings in this year’s survey of local business environments, there is also room for improvement.

As in previous years, companies in this year’s survey have been asked what they think municipalities ought to prioritise most in order to strengthen companies’ opportunities for growth.

At the top comes infrastructure and transport, which almost every other company would like to see be highly prioritised.

Also labour is high on the companies’ wish lists. More than every third company thinks that their municipality ought to do more to help businesses get the employees needed to create growth and development.

This reflects the fact that many companies have difficulty recruiting employees. More than every third company in this year’s business environment survey has thus unsuccessfully attempted to recruit employees in the past year. 

The work to create a good workforce and proper infrastructure is, however, not only a municipal responsibility. Much can also be done at a national level.

DI has just proposed a growth package with 50 initiatives that will help make Denmark DKK 29 billion wealthier and raise employment by approximately 35,000 by 2020.

Among other things, DI here calls for an extra DKK 3 billion to be allocated to investments in traffic-related infrastructure between 2018 and 2020, and a number of concrete proposals are presented for lower income taxes that could increase the supply of labour.

See also: DI’s entire growth package (in Danish)

A good business environment is crucial if companies are to be able to develop and create both growth and jobs.
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PUBLISHED: 9/7/2017 LAST MODIFIED: 9/7/2017