Statistics look positive for small business

Latest business news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Latest business news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

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Things may be looking up for independents as new figures reveal small businesses in south Suffolk have seen a six per cent increase in revenue.

The statistics from Barclays indicate that small businesses in south Suffolk are doing well, with average turnover four per cent higher than the national average.

These figures are from the third quarter of 2014 between July and September.

Figures for the retail sector were less encouraging, with average quarterly turnover remaining the same, compared to 2013.

Between January and March this year, overall small business revenue in south Suffolk spiked with a 7.8 per cent increase.

For the number of start-up businesses in the area, the figures looked healthy with a four per cent rise.

Compared to the decrease of two per cent in the number of start-ups seen nationally, it seems south Suffolk is a promising location for future business owners.

James Cartlidge, South Suffolk Conservative candidate for next year’s elections, said the figures showed that the small business industry was thriving.

“If we measure how attractive an area is for starting a business by the performance of start-ups, these figures are very encouraging,” he said.

“They show the rate of start-ups increasing and, most importantly, a higher rate of survival than the national average.

“When you factor in Babergh’s unemployment rate falling below one per cent, petrol getting cheaper at the pumps and the recent cut in business rates, it’s clear to see we have reasons to be optimistic for continued growth for our local economy in 2015.”

Mr Cartlidge encouraged people to help the retail sector by shopping locally.

“While turnover is up among all local small businesses, it’s a worry that it’s flat in retail,” he said.

In the run up to Christmas, Sudbury’s town team began its campaign to promote shopping locally.

Sudbury town development manager Jane Hatton said the town centre had been busy and hoped the next set of figures would reflect that.

“The shop local campaign has been well supported by the retailers and the reasons for shopping locally have been a talking point with shoppers,” she said.

“Keeping money in our local economy and maintaining the character of the town are not only important at Christmas but throughout the year.”

She said the town team was working on ideas to keep the campaign running throughout the new year,

The town team has been working with Gainsborough’s House to conduct a survey into the strengths and weaknesses of the town.

It hopes this will be used to shape the town and continue to attract visitors with the right mixture of shops.