Small businesses reveal nationwide rise in turnover

Britain’s small businesses are growing at a faster rate than a year ago, and that growth isn’t just limited to London, according to new research.

The 2016 Barclays UK Prosperity Map shows that Bournemouth, Manchester and Cardiff are all seeing sizable growth – of 19%, 15% and 12% respectively in the year to April.

London meanwhile is recording the fastest economic growth of anywhere in the UK and is home to a number of technological start-ups, while turnover growth in the capital is also high, at 11%.

On a regional level, Scotland saw growth of 8% while the North West and South West grew by 6% and 5% respectively.

More modest rates of growth were noted in Cardiff and Yorkshire and Humberside, where turnover was up by 2% and 1.8%.

Prosperity hotspots were found across the UK, driven by a range of factors – the survey also revealed that age is no barrier to creating companies, as the average age of business owners in Manchester is 45, compared to 50 in Cambridge.

House prices, working hours and income were all included in the study and Barclays has linked Britain’s entrepreneurial spirit with overall prosperity.

However, with the economic impact of Brexit unknown and the long term futures of many start-ups also uncertain, businesses need to proceed with caution.

Research from Ormsby Street suggests that only 40% of start-ups will pass their fifth birthday, with the rest facing administration, insolvency or a range of other financial issues.

The initial stages for new companies were positive though, as 91% completed their first year – continuing with operations in the years that follow is the difficult aspect.

Any firm facing difficulties is encouraged to consider contingency planning so that they can have a range of strategic options open to them should their situation deteriorate.

By Phil Smith

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