Top British cities to boost economy by £16 billion by 2020

The UK’s best cities for small businesses will contribute around £16 billion to the economy by 2020, according to a new study from npower Business and Capital Economics.

As well as creating 200,000 jobs, the study suggests that the nation’s smaller firms are keeping more than half of the working population in work – 16.8 million clock in on a daily basis.

Growth is expected to continue across the next five years, despite the uncertainty surrounding the EU referendum results, at an average of 2%.

Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Brighton and Hove, and Birmingham are all expected to join the City of London as the locations that best support SMEs.

Access to technology, supportive local government policy, lower property costs and a strong skills base are all factors as to why these regions are expected to thrive.

While these are all factors that support the growth of young businesses, it is no guarantee of success as Ormsby Street has revealed that three in five SMEs do not reach their fifth birthday.

Despite this high rate of insolvency, 91% of start-ups do see out their first year, although those in the finance, insurance and property sectors have lesser rates of success.

Bristol is a particularly attractive prospect for SMEs, given strong ties to a range of media production and financial services.

Meanwhile firms in Leeds can take advantage of low property prices and business rates, while still having strong transport links nearby.

Three of the ten fastest growing industries have clusters in the city, including financial support, office administration firms and other professional and technical sectors.

While the report details the many opportunities for growth and expansion that are open to firms, they will also need to be watchful if they are to continue trading long into the future.

By Phil Smith

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