For a long time, small and medium-sized businesses have been the unsung heroes of the UK economy, and their contribution vastly underrated.
Recent governmental research has shown that small and medium-sized businesses:
- Account for over 99% of all private sector businesses in the UK, 48% of private sector employment and 33% of private sector turnover
- Employ more than 14 million people and account for an estimated gross value of £376bn, equivalent to almost half (49.8%) the UK economy
- Employ a combined total of 15.6 million people
- Had a shared turnover of a massive £1.75 trillion, and their numbers are rising!
Between 2010 and 2015 there was an impressive 36% increase among SMEs in London alone and, as these figures suggest, the effect of this growth has meant that SMEs have been responsible for a great deal of gross job creation in the last 5 years, and injected well needed capital into the economy throughout the recession.
This isn’t the only way in which smaller businesses contribute. From engaging with local communities, driving innovation, bringing jobs to employment black-spots and employing a diverse work-force; SMEs provide a vital service to all planes of society.
SMEs, defined by the European Commission as a business that employs fewer than 250 people and has an annual turnover of less than £39m, are also playing an increasingly important role in ensuring economic growth is sustainable.
They may be small, but they are many, and as a result the large, mega-corporations that employ thousands of people are no longer driving the future of UK business.
It is important to remember however that even these big companies started life as a small business, with very few exceptions. Through a supportive community, good connections and enough capital, these budding enterprises blossomed into the corporate giants of today. It may be true that such businesses were a lucky few, but the fact remains that small businesses are and always will be crucial to the UK economy.
All areas of the UK benefit from small and medium-sized businesses, although the majority of enterprises are situated in the affluent areas of London (17.8%) and the South East (16.16%), SMEs employ over half of all employees across the country- an impressive 52%! The entire sector is an engine for jobs growth.
Although large global companies tend to dominate the news and get the most coverage, a healthy small business sector is absolutely essential to any healthy and prosperous economy. That’s why Opus Energy is committed to giving these enterprising companies the support they need, when they need it. Small Business Saturday is an excellent opportunity to get involved and show your support for our SMEs. You can find out more about Small Business Saturday here.