Council welcomes small and medium business growth report

Leeds City Council has welcomed a new national report published this week which shows the city is bucking the national trend in terms of the success of small and medium businesses.

The ‘Small Business Outlook’ report by the Centre for Cities released on Monday reveals only Leeds and Aberdeen saw their numbers of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) increase between 2008 and 2011.

The report shows the importance of SMEs to the economy, with 60 per cent of total employment in UK cities being provided by small and medium-sized businesses, and their numbers increasing by 37 per cent between 2005 and 2012 compared to a 14 per cent rise in the number of ‘large’ firms.

Despite the effects of the recession, Leeds has also avoided significant falls in real wage values and public sector job losses.

Reflecting on the report, Leeds City Council executive member for development and the economy Councillor Richard Lewis said:

“We welcome the contents of this report as it is a real indicator of things which are working well and the areas we need to improve on.

“The fact Leeds bucked the national trend in numbers of SMEs is very pleasing and is a reflection of the tenacity of businesses in Leeds, as well as a lot of hard work which has gone into supporting and encouraging small and medium businesses to start up and develop in Leeds and the wider region.

“These businesses have a crucial role to play in terms of job creation as we look to fulfil our ambition of becoming a NEET-free city (those not in education, employment or training).

“In broader terms we need to now work hard to maximise the opportunities to develop businesses in the wider region, and this is where the work of the Leeds City Region, the Enterprise Zone and Local Enterprise Partnership in addition to the proposed new combined authority can and must make a real difference.”

To see the full report issued by the Centre for Cities, go to www.centreforcities.org/research/businessoutlook13.html


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,

Leeds City Council press office,

Tel 0113 247 5472

Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk