25 October 2013
The number of private sector businesses in the UK has reached a record level at 4.9 million, having risen by 9% over the last three years.
The number of private sector businesses in the UK has reached a record level at 4.9 million, official figures reveal.
And 99% of these companies are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), employing fewer than 250 members of staff. The statistics from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills also show SMEs now employ a total of 14.4 million people and have a combined turnover of nearly £1.6 trillion.
This is almost half the total turnover of all businesses in the UK, which adds up to £3.3 trillion.
The figures demonstrate the crucial role small businesses play in the UK economy. Small companies that employ fewer than 50 people and start-up businesses account for a third of private sector turnover and make up almost half of all the UK’s 4.9 million businesses.
Enterprise Minister Matt Hancock claims the number of businesses has risen by 9% over the last three years with 400,000 more private sector companies existing now than in 2010.
He believes the new £2,000 employment allowance, which comes into effect in April, will make it easier for companies to take on more employees by reducing the amount of tax businesses pay. The allowance will give businesses a discount on the amount of National Insurance they pay, effectively removing the tax for around 450,000 small businesses.
Mr Hancock says: “Britain is turning a corner with a record 4.9 million businesses now trading across the country.”
But he adds: “There is much more to do, not least to make it easier to employ people and create jobs, like with the new £2,000 Employment Allowance that from April will cut tax on jobs in every company, large and small.”
Business Secretary Vince Cable says: “Today’s figures are a timely reminder of the number of people willing to try their hand at business. They also show an encouraging regional story with the figures for the North West and Yorkshire and the Humber particularly positive.”
This autumn the Government is launching a public campaign to celebrate British business success stories with the hope of inspiring small businesses. Its main aim is to make the UK the best place for start-ups to flourish and grow. A range of measures aimed at supporting entrepreneurs and people looking to get started in business are also expected to be revealed.
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