'Vibrant' Ipswich is mecca for small businesses on tight budgets, says expert
PUBLISHED: 15:24 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 15:24 07 August 2018
Industry is turning away from major economic hubs and towards towns such as Ipswich, where they can find lower overheads and “enormous” potential for growth, an alternative finance provider says.
Peter Tuvey, co-founder and managing partner at Fleximize, which is based on the town’s waterfront, said it was a common misconception among small and medium-sized enterprises that it wasn’t possible to succeed outside of cities such as London and Manchester.
Mr Tuvey, whose firm has lent more than £65m to businesses since it was launched in 2014, said with overheads booming, industry was increasingly emigrating away from the larger economic hubs in search of cheaper operational costs.
Ipswich was increasingly becoming an attractive option for entrepreneurs and small business owners due to its “enormous” potential for growth, he said.
According to a recent UK Powerhouse study, Ipswich ranks in fifth place nationally in terms of year-on-year growth of the value of goods and services produced.
Mr Tuvey’s firm has ougrown two offices and exceeded its lending forecasts year-on-year, he said.
“Ipswich is a city that is a real champion for the Great British entrepreneur and is a town dedicated to sustaining local business growth,” he said.
Affordable overheads in the town included high end office spaces for as little as £110 per person per month, he pointed out, compared to about double that figure in London, meaning it worked well for businesses on tight budgets.
“The 2007 opening of the University of Suffolk in the centre of Ipswich caused an influx of young talent, keen to learn and hungry to innovate. As a result, growing start-ups in the area have access to an accessible and affordable talent pool of intelligent and forward-thinking graduates.”
The town was on the main line to London with three trains an hour and firms receive “a great deal” of support in Ipswich and surrounding areas, he added.
“MENTA, Suffolk Chamber and ISSBA, amongst others, provide a strong support and development network available to growing businesses in the area,” he said, adding that the town was a “vibrant” place to set up business, close to famous beauty spots.