Number of UK businesses at record high, new statistics find

The number of private sector businesses in the UK has hit a record 5.5 million, according to official statistics released by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

UK businesses are plentiful than ever, with the Business Population Estimates report showing that, at the start of 2016, the UK had a million more small businesses, 4,000 more medium-sized businesses and 900 more large businesses, compared to 2010, a total increase of 23 per cent.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark says, ‘Britain’s businesses are the heroes of our economic revival and it is great to see the number of businesses rise by over a million since 2010.

‘Our job creators don’t always get the praise and respect they deserve but we should be proud of our entrepreneurs, business leaders and innovators. The government is committed to ensuring Britain builds on its success and is the best place to start and grow a business.’

SMEs accounting for vast majority of UK businesses

Small and medium-sized firms account for at least 99 per cent of businesses in every main industry sector. The total number of businesses in London has also reached one million for the first time and the number of businesses employing people across the country has risen for the third year running.

Small business minister Margot James adds that there are a million more small businesses now than in 2010, and it’s important to recognise the great contribution they make to local communities and the national economy.

‘This government wants enterprise to thrive, our Start Up Loans scheme has awarded more than £250 million to new entrepreneurs and a network of Growth Hubs connect firms to advice and support. Today, we are also launching a consultation on the Small Business Commissioner, who will be a strong representative for small firms across the UK.’

The consultation will look at how the Small Business Commissioner will operate and handle complaints and is open to responses from businesses of all sizes.

Further reading on business performance

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel

Ben Lobel was the editor of from 2010 to 2018. He specialises in writing for start-up and scale-up companies in the areas of finance, marketing and HR.

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