Brighton has pipped Portsmouth and several other UK cities to be crowned the best location to start a small business in the UK, according to research compiled by Informi.
Informi studied information from 65 UK towns and cities relating to a number of factors that can be important for smaller company survival — including the density of small and medium sized businesses (SMEs), digital connectivity, and property prices.
Brighton came top of the list for the second successive year, due predominantly to its super-fast broadband penetration rate, low pollution levels, and high number of business start-ups. Portsmouth was ranked a respectable sixteenth.
Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond welcomed the positive news for Portsmouth’s small business community.
“This is great news for the city and it shows that it has much to offer, especially for companies that are tech start-ups.
“I hope everyone from estate agents and the chamber of commerce, to business groups and the council, will make sure this becomes a selling point for Portsmouth because I intend to spread the word as much as I can.”
Cambridge and Leicester take the silver and bronze positions, also for the second year in a row. Technology hub Cambridge scored well on its low number of SME closures and strong digital connectivity; while Leicester got good marks for its relatively large number of high growth SMEs in the city.
Other cities in the top twenty include Bristol, Aberdeen, Leeds and Southampton. London made it to number eight on the list, up one place from last year, ranking first for the number of business start-ups and density of SMEs. However, the capital’s high property prices, large number of SME closures and relatively moderate broadband speeds put it below cities including Aldershot, Reading and Northampton.
The highest mover on the list was Liverpool, which moved up 26 places to 22nd, largely due to a fall in the number of SME closures and a reduction in CO2 emissions. Worthing was the biggest faller, slipping 28 spots from fourth place to 32nd, due mainly to a fall in high-growth start-ups being located there.
Darren Nichols, Product Manager for Informi, said: “The UK is on track for a record number of start-ups during 2016, demonstrating that the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit is as strong as it’s ever been. New businesses can be found across every region and industry, bringing new jobs, prosperity and growth to their local economies.
“It is encouraging to see that London is not the only environment where small businesses can thrive but for every success story there are still far too many that struggle to get off the ground. SME owners should ensure they take every opportunity to seek out information, support and guidance — such as that offered freely at www.informi.co.uk — to help them get the fundamentals in place to succeed.”