Soaring energy bills and issues recruiting staff are the biggest concerns for business owners in Cumbria, a survey has shown.
The survey by Cumbria Tourism's Business Performance Tracker shows that 86% of business owners in the county believe they have issues recruiting staff.
It also highlighted that the top seven concerns for tourism businesses are all cost-related.
More than 100 Cumbrian businesses were brought together with regional and national tourism chiefs to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities for the county’s visitor economy.
The study revealed that 94% of businesses believe that rising energy bills were their biggest concern, with 86% saying they fear problems recruiting staff. This figure is up from 73% just six months ago.
Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism, Gill Haigh, said the Chancellor's budget announcement on Wednesday included "no help" for businesses struggling with soaring costs.
She said: "Yesterday’s Spring Budget saw some welcome measures, with improved childcare provision which we hope will help get more people into the labour market where staff shortages are really hampering business productivity.
"However, many of the industry’s key asks were absent, including no help for businesses facing growing costs across the board.
"As well as sharing the latest results of the business performance tracker, today’s event gave us the chance to bring together the CEO of VisitBritain, Patricia Yates, alongside Richard Toomer from The Tourism Alliance.
"They shared their insights into the ongoing challenges and consumer sentiment trends, as well as highlighting work and campaigns to support the industry.
"As we move into English Tourism Week, it’s the perfect time to bring together local and national stakeholders, to hear the voices of our businesses – through the survey results – and to discuss the ways Cumbria Tourism is collaborating with partners to support and celebrate our incredible industry and its people."
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt said: “Our plan is working – inflation falling, debt down and a growing economy.
“Britain is on a lasting path to growth with a revolution in childcare support, the biggest ever employment package and the best investment incentives in Europe.”
Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know...