According to an official release from the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, private sector firms stand at an all time high topping 5.2 million businesses. This record number was achieved by an annual increase of businesses of approximately 330,000 or 6.75% versus 2013. The 5.2 million business are almost exclusively small enterprises employing 50 people or less. In fact the report states that small businesses represents 99.3% of the total number.
Government estimates indicate that small businesses employ 12 million people, with a combined turnover of £ 1.2 trillion, accounting for 33% of turnover in the private sector.
“Despite a tough economic backdrop, today’s figures of an all-time high of more than 5 million businesses in the UK show that our talent for innovation and entrepreneurship is leading the way to recovery.
It’s a timely reminder that small firms make up the majority of our business community and it is those with the creativity and commercial nous that will continue our legacy as a world-leading enterprising nation. Government has played a crucial role in enabling this growth by cutting red tape, increasing access to finance and supporting industry-led skills and training initiatives.”
What makes this report even more compelling is the stark contrast from some other European neighbors that continue to struggle economically with anemic growth, high unemployment and structural inertia driven by excessive regulations. Last month France reported record high unemployment of 3.43 million. In one report, French Labor Minister François Rebsamen stated, “Let’s be honest, we are failing”.
There has also been an increase of 66,000 (up 5.5%) in the number of employing businesses, making 2014 only the second single year of growth since 2008.