Leeds Business Tips
(Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, UK)
The city's main businesses are tourism, retail and hospitality, and the large number of students in the vast campus of the University of Leeds contribute to its wealth and vibrancy. As a result, there are a huge range of shops and restaurants in central Leeds, providing an excellent choice for tourists, visitors and locals alike.
There are a large number of historic tourist attractions in and around the city centre, such as the waterfront Royal Armouries and Thornton's Arcade, and these thrive as the city of Leeds continues to gain popularity.
Leeds has certainly grown as an important financial city in the West Yorkshire area and around the city are a series of business parks, such as Capitol Park, the Leeds Valley Park and Thorpe Park, which between them offer good access to motorways and prominent roads.
Business Hours and General Etiquette
The locals in Leeds are fairly formal in both dress and manners, and normal business courtesies should usually be observed. The degree of formality necessary depends on the nature of the business, with financial and legal professions tending to being much more formal than most of the large software companies, where staff may wear jeans and T-shirts. Many men in Leeds still wear suits and short sleeve shirts are acceptable during the summer months. Women may also wear suits, but tend to be more casual in their general appearance.
Business hours in the Leeds area are usually from Monday to Friday, between 09:00 and 17:30, although some offices and businesses may close slightly later. Many shops are open longer and often during the weekends, and some supermarkets are open 24 hours a day.
Banks in Leeds usually open from 09:00 to 17:00 and larger banking branches may also open on Saturday mornings. Some banks also have late-night opening hours and there are countless ATM cashpoint machines located throughout the city. These cashpoints provide a useful way to exchange currency. The majority of shops, restaurants and hotels accept credit cards, including Visa and Mastercard.
Working lunches are a particularly popular way to do business in the city of Leeds and locals are quick to use first-name terms when appropriate. Some more exclusive restaurants may have a dress code, although most eateries tend to be much more informal and a relaxed dress code is acceptable. Popular choices can be found around Greek Street, the Headrow, Merrion Street and Woodhouse Lane.
A brief and friendly handshake is usually the customary greeting in Leeds and generally throughout England. It is acceptable to address new acquaintances on first name terms.
All restaurants and cafés in Leeds now operate a strict 'no smoking' policy. The same can be said for all public spaces, public transport, offices and businesses, which are now also 'non-smoking'. If you are in the open and wish to light up, it is always polite to first check with those around you.