Recession creates a ‘golden age’ for small businesses

Shafiq Khan, a partner at Clough & Company
Shafiq Khan, a partner at Clough & Company
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There are now five million established small firms in the UK, which is an increase of 760,000 compared to 2010 according to a high-profile enterprise report, and figures from Companies House reveal that record numbers of start-up businesses were created last year.

This trend shows no sign of waning according to Yorkshire-based chartered accountancy firm Clough & Company which has welcomed a new report that describes 2015 as a ‘golden age’ for small businesses, at a time when a record 30.8 million people are in work.

The report focuses on the UK’s enterprise eco-system and is written by Lord Young who is the prime minister’s enterprise advise r.

In addition, the number of new businesses created across the country hit a record high in 2014 with 581,173 new businesses registered at Companies House beating the previous high of 526,446 in 2013.

Shafiq Khan, a partner at Clough & Company, guides entrepreneurs through all areas of starting a business.

He said: “The recession has completely transformed the outlook for small businesses.

“During the downturn, huge numbers of people were made redundant and started businesses, because often they didn’t have any other options or the desire to work for another corporate after the recession.

“Lots of those people have done very well with many starting to recruit and expand as both the economy and confidence improves.”

Mr Khan said that the availability of finance was another key factor in the rise of small businesses, along with generous tax breaks through the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme and Enterprise Investment Scheme to stimulate and support entrepreneurship.

He added: “This is resulting in a number of high growth businesses being launched.

“Banks and alternative finance providers coming into the market are more than happy to lend to start-ups that can present a great business idea supported with a good business plan.”

Mr Khan said: “Ultimately, the UK and Yorkshire remain a great place to start a business with technology lowering many of the barriers, so almost anyone can turn a business idea into a reality.

“There is red tape and a tax system to overcome but there is plenty of help available to guide would-be entrepreneurs through all the potential pitfalls.”