Yorkshire sees start-up boom with almost 9,000 new businesses in 2019

Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire

Despite the uncertain economic climate last year, Yorkshire saw an encouraging growth in new businesses with nearly 9,000 start-ups in the region compared with a flat level of business growth the previous year.

The research from insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 shows that between January 2019 and January 2020, the Yorkshire business community increased with the creation of nearly 8,600 new businesses. In the previous 12 months (January 2018 to January 2019), the number of businesses fell by just 40. The rise across 2019 is closer to the 2017 to 2018 increase of nearly 9,800 businesses, although it does not match the boom year of 2016 which saw a leap in start-ups, with almost 18,600 more businesses in the region.

In January 2020, the number of active businesses in Yorkshire reached almost 231,000, a rise of over 19% since January 2016 and close to the UK-wide average of 20% during the same period.

Looking across the sectors, all of the 11 sectors in the region surveyed by R3 have seen an increase in the number of businesses over the last 12 months, with consumer-facing businesses showing the strongest growth. Between January 2019 and 2020, the number of restaurant businesses in Yorkshire rose by 10.1%; hotels by 6.7%; retailers by 5.3%; and pubs by 5.1%.

Eleanor Temple, chair of R3 in Yorkshire and a barrister at Kings Chambers in Leeds, said: “Despite much of the pessimism over the last year amid Brexit uncertainty and the global downturn, it is good to see an indication that the number of start-ups in Yorkshire is off-setting any business closures.

“The region has long been celebrated for its entrepreneurial spirit and it’s great that this appears to be alive and well, with thousands of new businesses being launched in the region in the last 12 months. It is vital that dynamic businesspeople feel able to take the leap and embark on a new enterprise; the North must capitalise on its innovation and grit in order to create new jobs and drive the local economy.

“However, it is well-known that the first few years of trading are often the most precarious for a new business – extensive research should be undertaken before launching a new venture, including rigorous financial forecasting, as along with ensuring that sufficient funding is in place. If, however, the fledgling business does run into trouble, remember that there are experts on hand who are able to offer advice and support; insolvency professionals have the skills to play a key role in helping business recovery as long as they are involved at an early stage.”

R3 uses research compiled from Bureau van Dijk’s ‘Fame’ database of company information to track the number of active businesses in Yorkshire, and the UK.

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