A survey has been launched to understand the barriers to increasing diversity across the Liverpool City Region business landscape.

The survey also intends to identify some of the key challenges and barriers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic business owners when accessing business support and finance as they look to start, stabilise and grow.

Launched by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, this survey forms part of the Metro Mayor’s Race Equality Programme for the Liverpool City Region, working alongside Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community leaders in the region.

The aim will be to improve business performance through increased diversity as well as tackle the long-standing structural inequalities faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic businesses with firm plans for action.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:  

“Whether it was the global outpouring of anger following the death of George Floyd, or the disproportionate impact the COVID pandemic has had on different communities across our City Region – the events of this year have bought into sharp focus the deep-seated and structural inequalities which still exist in our society.  

“As part of our wider work to try and tackle these inequalities, we’re launching this survey to understand the specific needs of, and challenges faced by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic led businesses. We know that more diverse businesses tend to be more successful businesses. I want these frank conversations with local Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic business leaders to help us create the most vibrant, diverse and prosperous local economy possible.”

Welcoming this survey, Asif Hamid MBE, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said:

“As Chair of the LEP and a business owner myself I welcome this survey. We know from available evidence that the lack of full Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation in the labour market costs the UK economy £24 billion a year- and we also know that diversity is a catalyst for growth within companies. However, what we don’t know is the full extent to which our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic-led businesses access or receive business support that is available in our city region– and what barriers there may be preventing them from accessing this support.

“This assessment of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic business landscape aims to understand and ensure we are getting to the heart of the challenges and barriers faced. We can then work together to develop meaningful actions and plans to remove barriers for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic led businesses at all points in the business lifecycle.

Lisa Mairah, Director of Digital and Entrepreneurship at Blackburne House said:

“This a fantastic opportunity to discover what conditions and interventions are needed to enable Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic led businesses to thrive. This survey is a vital starting point to ensure that future actions and initiatives are relevant, inclusive and accessible for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic led businesses across all sectors including the region’s growing social enterprise and community business sectors.”

The survey can be accessed here.