Some would describe Glasgow as a tough city, with high unemployment, ill health with age long bigotry between its 2 main football clubs. And if you walk around the city I guess you will see examples of all of these things, so you could be forgiven for assuming Glasgow must be in a bad way given the current economic downturn.
It would be fair to say Glasgow is having its challenges along with the rest of the UK however there is another side to Glasgow -an attractive and flourishing city.
Glasgow’s Brand is Glasgow:Scotland with style, what words could better describe it! Glasgow is ranked 4th in the UK inbound visitor league table (beaten only by London, Edinburgh and Manchester). Tourists love it!
Despite the credit crunch huge events continue to sell out and Glasgow is itself a major event destination on the world stage. This year Glasgow has hosted Celtic Connections, The Grand Prix Gymnastics, the International Jazz Festival, the World Pipe Band Championships and the MOBO awards to name but a few. The biggest event to come Glasgow’s way is of course the Commonwealth Games in 2014. These games and Glasgow’s continued success in event hosting will provide significant commercial opportunities for Glasgow businesses.
While unemployment continues to be a challenge for Glasgow the last 10 years have seen the city transform and even in this current climate there are now 40,000 more Glaswegians in work than there was a decade ago.
The transformation continues, and there is already a great deal of activity around the city to ensure sustained positive change to Glasgow’s economy. Large infrastructure projects such as the M74, the East End Regeneration Route and Clyde Gateway will help preserve employment during this difficult time and make Glasgow a highly competitive city when the upturn comes.
Glasgow is recognised as one of the best shopping cities in Europe. In 2008 ranked 17th in the Euro Retail Top 20. Recent investments such as Silverburn Shopping Centre and Glasgow Fort Shopping Centres have created around 4000 jobs for Glaswegians and created some excellent opportunities for Glasgow Businesses.
2009 has been a tough year for Glasgow but the outlook continues to be positive, many organisations are investing in Glasgow, for example Esure committed to 500 new jobs by 2014 with the first 250 being recruited within 09/10. Tesco Personal Finance looks set to move its insurance business operations to Glasgow and the upmarket supermarket Waitrose is due to open its first Glasgow store this month.
But it’s not just about the big guys – the small and medium Glasgow business market is keeping it’s head above water. The number of VAT registered companies continues to rise and although Glasgow’s small and medium businesses are having a tough time many have taken the opportunity to diversify. They have broadened their propositions and also learned how to use technology to open up new distribution channels. The Internet business in booming and many are using Web sites and Search engine optimisation to help even the playing field between the big guys and the SMEs. Smaller companies can be really nimble, get products to market very quickly at the same time as keeping overheads to a minimum.
Glasgow businesses need to have a web presence if their competitors are already there, and they have a great opportunity to get first mover advantage if they’re not.
It’s very easy for Glasgow businesses to get online – they can list themselves on a local website such as Activ Glasgow.
So the next time you walk around the city look for Glasgow; Scotland with Style, there are plenty of examples to confirm Glasgow and it’s businesses are still flourishing.
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