Growth in 2013 a great sign for UK business recovery
Official figures for 2013 suggest the year ended on a strong economic note for UK businesses, with the highest annual growth rates recorded for six years.
This is great news for the hundreds of businesses that have been forced to deal with the effects of the recession in recent years, as a slow recovery appears to be taking place.
While there is still a long way to go to return to pre-crisis levels, many economists are predicting growth for 2014 to be just shy of 2%.
That will mark the strongest performance since 2007 according to those who took part in a Reuters poll, although predictions for Q4 varied wildly between 0.3% and 0.9%.
An end to negativity surrounding UK businesses
Throughout the recession, many companies were forced to consider corporate recovery measures or other means of altering their approach to improve their financial situation.
As a result, many were able to stay in business during a tough period, although some of the country’s larger firms did find themselves filing for company administration and insolvency.
Blockbusters, Woolworths, Comet and Republic were among the highest profile stores to experience difficulty during the period.
JJB Sports, Jessops and HMV also disappeared from the high street as the retail sector suffered, leading critics to proclaim that the high street in the UK is dying.
An improving situation
Various schemes and investment opportunities are aiming to pour life back into town centres up and down the country, but in many cases the damage has already been done.
Administrative measures did rescue some stores among the larger chains, most notably in the case of HMV, but for smaller businesses there can be no alternative.
However, 2013 saw a slight improvement on 2012 when the number of companies who went bust is analysed, with around 2,500 stores being affected.
This compares favourably with the fact nearly 4,000 experienced a similar fate the previous year, according to the Centre for Retail Research.
The air of positivity surrounding the sector would suggest that the worst could be over, but the erratic nature of the business world could mean that companies are still fighting for their futures in 2014.