Suffolk sees a record-breaking surge of new businesses being formed

Ipswich Aerial. Picture: Ed Taylor r_e_d_r_o_c_k_e_t

Ipswich Aerial. Picture: Ed Taylor r_e_d_r_o_c_k_e_t - Credit: Archant

Despite Brexit turmoil, figures just published show that more new businesses were established in Suffolk during 2018 than in any previous year.

John Korchak of Inform Direct. Picture: Keith Mindham

John Korchak of Inform Direct. Picture: Keith Mindham - Credit: Photo: Keith Mindham Photography

In terms of new companies, 4,292 were registered in the county compared to 4,145 in 2017, which represents an increase of 3.5%.

This brings the total number of registered companies in Suffolk to 35,510, up from 33,994 at the end of 2017, which equates to 4.5% growth.

The statistics come from the Inform Direct Review of UK Company Formations, using data from Companies House and the Office for National Statistics.

MORE: Key study shows that Suffolk’s leading companies are ‘battening down the hatches in preparation for Brexit’

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ipswich formed the most new businesses, with 963, followed by Suffolk Coastal (649) and St Edmundsbury (640).

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John Korchak, Director of Operations at Inform Direct said: “These record high figures for new company formations in Suffolk show a very positive picture for business against a background of political and economic uncertainty. It is clear that the county continues to provide a supportive environment, both for new business ventures and existing enterprises.

“It is heartening to see entrepreneurs making their mark with increasing numbers of new businesses being formed. This picture is mirrored elsewhere in the UK, with a number of regions seeing more new formations in 2018 than at any time in their history and the UK as a whole achieving a new record total of registered companies.”

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Across the UK as a whole, a record number of new companies were formed– 669,855 compared with 634,116 in 2017.

The number of registered companies in the UK also continued to grow, finishing the year with a total of 4,308,022.

Many of the new companies are solo operations set up by freelancers, as that sector of the UK economy is currently thriving, growing 55% since 2008.

According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE), the self-employed sector now includes approximately 4.8 million people, with freelancers comprising 42% of that population and 6% of the UK workforce as a whole.

New mothers choosing to take up freelance work rather than return to full-time office employment post-baby has shot up by 79%. Comparatively, the number of men freelancing has grown by 36% in the same time frame.

Millennials are driving growth - young adults born in the 80s and 90s have driven significant growth in the freelance sector. The number of freelancers aged 26-29 has risen by 66% since 2008.

The fastest-growing freelance occupations in the past 10 years have been: Healthcare (191% growth) , Artistic, literary and media roles (103% growth), and Sports and fitness (103% growth).

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