Ipswich-based Inform Direct report spike in number of Suffolk business start-ups registering with Companies House

Henry Catchpole, founder and chief executive of Inform Direct.

Henry Catchpole, founder and chief executive of Inform Direct. - Credit: Archant

A raft of Suffolk entrepreneurs have helped break the record for the number of incorporated businesses in the county, according to a new study,

But small business leaders have warned the county is still lagging behind the rest of the UK, despite the increase.

In the last nine months, 2,855 new companies were formed, bringing the total number listed at Companies House which operate in Suffolk to 31,765 – the highest ever.

In September, 322 companies were created compared with 254 during the same period in 2013 – a 27% increase.

Henry Catchpole, of Ipswich-based secretarial and formations software company Inform Direct, which compiled the figures, said the county had seen one of the busiest periods for company incorporations since the start of the recession.

“These figures are showing us just how impressive growth is in our region,” he said.


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“There have never been so many unique start-ups and small businesses operating in this area and it’s a sign –not only that the local economy is flourishing – but also that we have a lot of talented individuals with big ideas.

“It also shows that the number of companies folding or going into administration is lower than ever.”

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Chris Soule, county chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, gave a cautious welcome to the figures, but pointed out that the county was coming from a low starting point.

He urged entrepreneurs to seek help from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) as they launched new businesses as “far too few” people were applying for grants and support.

He said: “From our regular meetings with the Government’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department we know that East Anglia’s start-up rate is little more than half the national average.

“For anyone wanting to launch a new business there is a lot of help out there but people don’t know where to find it.”

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Dugmore described the figures as “good news for Suffolk, good news for business and good news for our economy”.

“We never tire of telling people that Suffolk is the home of hard work and entrepreneurial spirit and the growth of incorporated companies in the county shows this to be true,” he said.

“We also have to be aware that for many new companies the first few months and years can be the most challenging.

“That’s why it’s important, both locally and nationally, new firms are given the support they need and are not hindered by too many rules and regulations. It is why such support mechanisms like the New Anglia LEP Growth Hub, managed in Suffolk, is clearly making a difference.”

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