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Smaller firms remaking Britain

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A new report compiled by the London Stock Exchange in conjunction with business intelligence company DueDil has revealed a resurgence in British SMEs making goods, with 250 of the UK's top 1,000 private firms, based on compound annual growth, revenues, and innovation, operating in the manufacturing, construction and engineering industries. These businesses increased their turnover by an average of 180% over the four years to 2014. Speaking at the launch of the 1,000 Companies to Inspire Britain report, Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "We have very excellent companies in the car industry, aerospace and the supply chain of energy companies. "What was seen as a declining sector is actually very much not, especially now in advanced manufacturing where very positive things are happening". The best-performing sector was information technology, which experienced average revenue growth of 350% over four years, and in 2014 the tech sector experienced its fastest rate of growth since 2007, whilst £12bn is expected to be added to London's economy by tech firms over the coming decade. The study also revealed that retailers enjoyed revenue growth of 250% over the period, while real estate, which received a boost from the Help To Buy initiative, increased turnover by 203%. The UK can boast to being home to the largest number of SMEs in Europe with 5m of the 23m across the EU, more than double the number in Germany, Italy, or France. Last year saw over 500,000 start-ups launched in Britain, and London's dominance in facilitating fast-growth firms has been reduced, now accounting for just 25% of the 1,000 businesses in the report. Some 20% of the 1,000 fast-growth firms are in the north of England, more than the South East, excluding London. The turnaround was attributed to improved access to finance in the regions through the seed enterprise investment scheme, British Business Bank, start-up loans and other funding vehicles, new entrepreneurial networks, and improved digital infrastructure. The report also showed that SMEs are driving job creation, with the food and drink, IT, manufacturing, financial services, and residential care the top labour-creating industries.

 

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