Small Business Outlook 2015

Centre for Cities have today (19th October 2015) launched their new Small Business Outlook 2015, which looks at the performance of the 63 largest cities in the UK.

Both Cambridge and Peterborough feature throughout the report, which showcases the strength of our small businesses.

Cambridge is ranked in the top ten list of cities with the highest density of SMEs, with 310.9 SMEs per 10,000 population in 2014. Not only is this a high percentage, it has also increased 5.1% between 2011 and 2014.

When it comes to SME expansion, Peterborough is ranked 3rd in the country, creating an average of 7.2 jobs per expanding SME. Overall, 31.6% of SMEs in Peterborough have expanded between 2011 and 2014, this is up from 28% between 2008 and 2011. A sure sign of business confidence in the city.

It isn’t just growth that is important, it is also survival rates. Across the UK Cambridge was ranked 63rd out of 64 cities for the number of SME closures, showing that SMEs are more likely to succeed in Cambridge than almost anywhere else in the UK.

A key feature of the latest Small Business Outlook was the importance of ‘new work’ SMEs – companies that operate in the digital, creative, and professional services sectors. On average, 40% of city based SMEs are classed as ‘new work’, but in Cambridge this figure is 51% – making it one of the top five ‘new work’ SME locations in the country.

Neil Darwin, Chief Executive of the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP, said:

“Once again, the Centre for Cities Small Business Outlook report has proven the strength of the economies within our two core cities. Cambridge is leading the field in nurturing and growing ‘new work’ SMEs that are vital for the future of the UK economy, whilst Peterborough has one of the highest proportions of High Growth SMEs in the country.

“To ensure that our cities can continue to thrive, we must continue to work hard to secure vital infrastructure improvements for our area and look at ways in which we can ensure a steady supply of housing close to these new jobs that is affordable for workers. The scheduled upgrade of the A14, delivery of the Ely Southern Bypass and road improvements around Peterborough will all help, but more investment is required to unlock the full potential of our area.”