Smaller firms at six-year high

The number of smaller firms has reached a six-year high of more than two million, according to new research.

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There has been an increase in SME firms in the manufacturing industry

The number of smaller firms has reached a six-year high of more than two million, according to new research.

More than 80,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) went out of business between 2008 and 2011 during the recession, but the total has increased by 86,000 since then.

The National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) said the biggest growth has been in England, while small business numbers barely increased in Wales and fell in Northern Ireland.

Professional, scientific and technical industries have seen the biggest increase in SMEs , followed by information and communication, health, property, agriculture, education and manufacturing, said the report.

Adam Tyler, chief executive of the NACFB, said: " Uneven growth across the British Isles still shows more work needs to be done to support the revival of small business fortunes.

"SMEs in England and Scotland have benefited from innovative business lending, which has increased the mix of commercial finance available to entrepreneurs.

"Commercial brokers can often unlock new routes to funding on a local level, and a renewed commitment from lenders in Wales and Northern Ireland can satisfy regional appetite for investment to kick-start their SME recovery."