Business leaders know only too well that public perceptions matter.
As businesses, our reputations are our “licence to operate” and our right to be listened to by the public and in the debates that matter. Right now, this is more important than ever as the UK makes decisions about its future that will define a generation.
Business is a powerful force for good, making a massive contribution to people’s lives. Firms across the UK employ almost 27m people – that’s nearly 2 million more than they did five years ago. Last year businesses paid £205bn in taxes in the UK – that pays for nearly one in three teachers or hospitals.
Despite this, in the years since the recession there has been a loud debate about the value that business brings to the UK and whether it really understands or cares about people’s concerns.
That’s why the CBI, in partnership with Porter Novelli and Opinium, have embarked on this research – to stop and listen to what people think about business today. When we listened, people told us that they do recognise the important role that business plays – particularly in providing jobs – but there is still a reputation challenge and a clear disconnect between what businesses do and what people believe.