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Numbers of private sector businesses hit record level

18 October 2012

Official figures released on Wednesday (October 17) show that the number of private sector businesses in the UK increased significantly to 4.8 million at the start of 2012 – a record high.

Michael Fallon
Michael Fallon

This is an increase on last year’s figures, which showed there were 4.5 million businesses in the UK at the start of 2011.

The statistics, published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, also show that the 4.8 million private sector businesses employed an estimated 23.9 million people and had an estimated turnover of £3,100bn.

Of the 4.8 million private sector businesses, 99.9 percent of them were small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), who also account for 59.2 per cent of private sector employment and 48.8 per cent of private sector turnover.

Business Minister Michael Fallon (pictured) said private sector is central to healing and rebalancing our economy and this increase is another encouraging sign.

“We know that our entrepreneurs drive growth, so we will continue to do everything we can to help unleash and unlock entrepreneurs’ potential. The additional tax relief for angel investment, reforms to employment law, investment in business mentoring and further cuts in red tape are just some of the actions government is taking to create a better business environment.”

The statistics are available on the BIS website here.

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