Yorkshire sees seven per cent rise in small firms

Fergus Bailie CEO of Leeds-based digital services company CDS (left) with Cabinet Office minister Caroline Nokes.
Fergus Bailie CEO of Leeds-based digital services company CDS (left) with Cabinet Office minister Caroline Nokes.
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The number of small businesses in Yorkshire has risen by more than 27,000 in the last year, according to new figures.

There are now 415,900 companies with fewer than 50 employees in the region compared to 388,100 12 months ago, an increase of seven per cent.

The government figures were released ahead of Small Business Saturday tomorrow, which encourages customers to visit small independent businesses.

Speaking during a visit to Leeds yesterday, Cabinet Office minister Caroline Nokes told The Yorkshire Post: “Small businesses are absolutely what are providing jobs, revenue and keeping the economy going and they are crucially important to us. I want to see more of them and more people supporting them.”

Ms Nokes visited print and digital services company CDS. The firm, which works with a number of public sector organisations, developed a web-based system which is used across government to share property information.

Ministers promise that by 2020, £1 in every £3 of government spending will go to small businesses, either directly or through the supply chain.

“We (MPs) need to be evangelists for doing business with government so that the SME owners in our own areas know there are opportunities and that we want them to take advantage of them,” Ms Nokes said.

Small Business Saturday is now in its fifth year in the UK. It follows two big Christmas shopping days, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, that favour larger businesses.

In 2016, an estimated £717m was spent with small firms on Small Business Saturday, up 15 per cent on the year before. Over 75 per cent of UK councils support the event by waiving parking charges and supporting markets or fairs.

Businesses looking for public sector opportunities can look for government contracts here www.gov.uk/contracts-finder