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Sunday, 30th December 2012

UK: Size matters: The importance of small firms in Londonís economy

Source: Centre for Cities (UK)

From Executive Summary:

National and local government are increasingly focused on growing levels of enterprise to support economic growth, but current policies are often too generic to be fully effective. They fail to reflect two important issues: first, only a small proportion of firms will be responsible for a significant share of employment growth and second, business decisions are influenced by the location of other firms. Unless policies reflect this, they are unlikely to achieve the growth in enterprise for which the government is hoping.

This report investigates how enterprise policy needs to change by analysing the role small firms play in the city with the highest start-up rate in the UK and the most high growth firms - London. It reviews the implications of the composition and geography of London’s small business base for enterprise policy, not just in London but also in other city economies.

The report finds that small firms, with fewer than 50 employees, have played an increasingly important role in city economies across the UK over the past decade. On average, small firms accounted for 96 per cent of all businesses and just over half of all jobs in UK cities in 2010. In London, small firms accounted for 97 per cent of businesses and half of the city’s 3.4 million jobs.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

Adrian can be reached at adrian.janes@freepint.com

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