New business boom in North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 10:34 09 April 2015 | UPDATED: 10:34 09 April 2015




NORTH Somerset had more new businesses launch in the past year than Sedgemoor and Bath, according to new data.

Statistics compiled by Inform Direct – a company which manages business records – reveal there were 1,428 new businesses in North Somerset last year.

Nearby Bath and North East Somerset hosted 1,285 new companies, while Sedgemoor had just 409 start-ups.

This brings the total number of businesses operating in Somerset to 41,852 – 30 per cent more than five years ago.

Chairman of the Weston branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) John Mayer suggests this upturn is due to the town’s enterprising attitude.

He said: “These figures are not altogether surprising. Currently there is a very positive feel to the local economy, which gives budding entrepreneurs the confidence to set up and run their own businesses.

“It is particularly pleasing that this increase includes many young people and women who are starting up in business, and this trend has to be actively encouraged.”

Inform Direct suggests low start-up costs and increasing ways to access funding are behind the boom.

Mr Mayer agreed, and said: “This local data is in line with our latest Small Business Index results which show lower business costs are enabling employers to hire new staff, showing the substantial impact small firms are having on growing the UK’s economy.

“It is also incredibly encouraging to see the banks approving more credit for small firms, suggesting we may have finally turned a corner on this front.”

A number of local initiatives have been launched to encourage new businesses, such as North Somerset Enterprise Agency’s new Hive headquarters.

The agency, based in Weston’s Business Quarter, offers specialist advice to new businesses and low-cost training.

The West of England Local Enterprise Partnership scheme also operates in the district, and aims to bring together businesses and the council to stimulate economic growth and create jobs.

Mr Mayer said: “In the local areas we are seeing many positive developments through the FSB’s work with the Local Enterprise Partnerships who have a significant role to play working with North Somerset Council to ensure future developments help small businesses continue to prosper and grow.”

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