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East Midlands Chamber News

Survey Shows Local Firms are Still Growing

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of DNCCDespite challenging economic conditions, there are currently 4,353 mid-sized SMEs demonstrating high levels of growth across the UK, according to the latest Experian research commissioned by the Business Growth Fund.

This is a rise of almost ten per cent compared to this point last year.

These 4,353 UK companies have each demonstrated aggregate growth of at least 33 per cent in the past three years.

These companies make up 17 per cent of the overall population of 24,955 UK companies with a turnover of £2.5m - £100m.

Of the high growth companies identified, those with turnovers of between £2.5m - £10m continue to perform most strongly. Fifty-one per cent of the high growth segment, or 2,202 companies, had turnovers of less than £10m.

Since this Barometer was published last year, the picture is one of overall growth increase, albeit at a gentle level. It continues to show that fast growing companies can be found in a diverse range of industries and across all regions of the UK.

The BGF Growth Companies Barometer shows a higher incidence of high growth companies in almost all regions of the UK, notably Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

Similarly, almost all industry sectors showed some increase in the proportion of their high growth small and medium sized companies. Business services companies continue to be the best represented among the high growth segment, with 1,095 companies making up 25 per cent of the group. Twenty per cent of the high growth segment, equating to 859 companies, is represented by Manufacturing; and Retail occupies 11 per cent, with 478 high growth companies identified.

Stephen Welton, CEO of BGF, said on the data: “This data is encouraging. It shows that despite all the wider challenges posed by the macro-economic climate there has been more, and ever increasing, SME growth in the UK. Good businesses are prospering across almost all regions of the UK and diverse industry sectors.

“However, for real economic recovery, we need these growth figures to be higher and more broadly based. We need to see heightened levels of ambition and investment among business owners.”

He added: “Not enough growth capital is currently being channelled into UK SMEs. Considering the possible universe of good businesses seeking finance to support growth, this is a missed opportunity.

In East Midlands, 194 firms, 15.5 per cent, were identified by the survey as being high growth.

George Cowcher, Chief Executive of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “We welcome this news which confirms our own understanding of what is happening in business locally.

“To have 15.5 per cent of East Midlands firms identified as ‘high growth’ is very positive and gives us a good regional platform to build from.

“With Business Bank funding finally coming on stream and Regional Growth Fund money available, we would encourage companies to take advantage of these opportunities and low-cost borrowing to invest in new technology, new equipment and new ideas to create jobs and prosperity going forward.”