UK SME growth reaches six-year high

The number of active SMEs (small and medium enterprises) across the UK has reached 2.16m in 2013, the highest value in six years, a brand new market report has revealed.

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Figures obtained from the SME Growth Monitor report issued by the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers point out that the number of British SMEs rose by 4.2 per cent in the past two years, the highest value since the economic downturn.

The strongest small and medium enterprise growth levels were recorded across England (4.6 per cent), followed closely by Scotland (4.5 percent). Unfortunately, businesses in Wales and Northern Ireland have not followed this trend, the number of SMEs growing just by 0.3 percent in the former and actually dropping by 1.9 percent in the latter region.

As the market report reveals, the professional, scientific and technical industries sectors recorded the most impressive SME growth (35,905), followed by the information and communication sectors, as well as health, property, agriculture, education and manufacturing sectors.

Nevertheless, the “construction” and “wholesale” sectors lost SME businesses in this period, casting some light on the uneven growth patterns recorded in this segment, with growth levels varying greatly depending on specific regions and sectors.

Adam Tyler, chief executive of the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers, commented: “SMEs in England and Scotland have benefited from innovative business lending, which has increased the mix of commercial finance available to entrepreneurs.

“Commercial brokers can often unlock new routes to funding on a local level, and a renewed commitment from lenders in Wales and Northern Ireland can satisfy regional appetite for investment to kick-start their SME recovery.”

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