The North-West of England is slowly becoming an SME hotspot, with Merseyside increasing its total number of small businesses by 6.7 per cent, according to new research from Santander.
Santander Corporate and Commercial has found that the North-West currently contains 215,780 SMEs, with Merseyside having the third largest population of small firms. Leading the region is Greater Manchester with 78,665 businesses followed by Lancashire with 38,345.
Merseyside surpassed the North-West average for the creation of small businesses over the past 12 months. The region now contains 30,645, which is an increase of nearly 7 per cent, whereas the North-West average rise stands at 4.3 per cent.
New businesses in the North-West have set up shop within 5 sectors, with reported year-on-year growth in business administration (9.8 per cent), the science industry, (9.5 per cent) IT and communications, (8.5 per cent) health, (6.5 per cent) and transport and storage (5.5 per cent).
‘‘The North West has always had a very strong base of small and medium-sized businesses and it is great to see the continued development and growth of businesses across a broad range of sectors,’’ said Damian McGann, divisional managing director – North West, Santander Corporate & Commercial.
There could be an even further increase of SMEs operating within the North-West, with Santander set to announce the creation of a £40m investment fund for small businesses, in partnership with Manchester-based Enterprise Ventures.