Small firms in the UK buck the recession

17th May 2012 | 15:33

Small firms in the UK buck the recession

The Business Growth Fund finds a percentage of UK businesses are resilient to recession

Despite the worst recession in 60 years, and Greece almost bringing the downfall of the Euro, there are currently 4000 businesses demonstrating high levels of growth across the UK, according to the government-backed Business Growth Fund (BGF)

These "high growth" companies - all with turnovers of between £2.5m and £100m - have each expanded by at least 33 percent over the last three years and are demonstrating an underlying and surprising resilience to the dire UK economy.

The BGF "Growth Companies Barometer" identifies a total of 25,533 UK companies with turnovers of £2.5m - £100m. Of these, 16% are categorised as high growth.

The highest proportion of these high growth companies is located in London and the South East. However the BGF Barometer highlights that fast growing companies can be found in a diverse range of industries and across all regions of the UK.

Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, commented on the data:

"This data highlights that despite challenging market conditions, there is a steady base of UK SMEs and fast growing UK companies that continue to thrive across the UK and that operate in diverse industry sectors. It demonstrates the resilience of the group and the underlying quality of UK entrepreneurship. This is good news for the overall UK economy as these companies play a significant role in job creation and innovation and are a critical part of the economic recovery.

Key findings of the BGF Growth Companies Barometer include:

  • The growth businesses are skewed to London and the South East with 8,626 and 4,332 companies respectively residing in this region.
  • Wales and the North East of England show the lowest number of companies with turnover between £2.5m and £100m
  • The highest proportion of companies in the BGF Barometer come from the Business Services sector 5,794, followed by Manufacturing 4,982 and Retail 2,891.
  • Of the high growth companies identified, those with turnovers of between £2.5m - £10m performed most strongly. 52% of the high growth segment (2,155 companies) had turnovers of less than £10m.
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