Staffordshire business start-up and survival rates increase as county council support programme grows
The number of new businesses in Staffordshire starting up has increased to the level seen nationally and those businesses surviving their first three years has increased with the rate now higher than the national figure, recently released statistics show.
Staffordshire County Council has continued and expanded its support programme for businesses up to five years old, launched in the wake of the pandemic.
Staffordshire’s three-year business survival rate in 2021 stood at 61.9 per cent which was higher than the UK survival rate of 57.6 per cent, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). In 2021 4,145 businesses started up, with a birth rate of 12.2 per cent compared to 9.3 per cent the previous year and for the first time largely in line with the national rate of 12.4 per cent.
The Get Started and Grow programme provides accountancy support, digital marketing support including branding and website design and guidance on putting together cashflow forecasts and business plans. The programme is free and delivered by local professionals.
Launched last year, Get Started and Grow initially supported start-up businesses. Research carried out by the county council found that young businesses looking to plan their next stage of growth needed support.
Staffordshire County Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economy and skills Philip White said:
It’s hugely encouraging that Staffordshire is providing the right environment for start-up businesses to grow and thrive, and vitally to operate successfully through the difficult first few years.
At the county council it is a priority to us to provide support to these enterprises in a targeted and relevant way, ensuring they have the guidance they need so they can concentrate on their areas of expertise and running the business.
Since the pandemic we have seen an increase in start-ups and an increase in survival rates which is excellent news. Our business support programme, including Get Started and Grow, has expanded and made a difference to many across the county. We look forward to its continued success.
New businesses which have benefited from the support from the Get Started programme include Sunnyside Drinks Co – set up by actor Christian Heath after he moved to Staffordshire from Australia. The company offers a range of Aussie-inspired premium alcoholic drinks.
Christian, from Stafford, said:
Get Started and Grow covered everything I needed to know in terms of market research, finance and business planning, and then it all came together into a business plan.
For me it was a real launch pad because it made me feel far more comfortable with moving forward. People can be easily put off from setting up their business because of the things they need to do that may be outside of their comfort zone. Now I feel like I’m on a very firm footing and have all the bases covered.
Tabitha and Steve Cartmail set up Copper Beech Glamping at Knightley House Farm close to the Staffordshire/Shropshire border just before the pandemic. It has now relaunched following bespoke website and business support from Get Started and Grow. They have seen a sharp rise in the number of enquiries for their shepherd hut and log cabins and the promise of an eco-friendly stay in the heart of the Staffordshire countryside.
The Get Started and Grow team put together a bespoke package which made our current marketing better and learn the business planning skills I need. I just wouldn’t have been able to afford the cost of what I needed to make everything the best it could be without this support. I can now really make this business a success.
Over £4.2million has been invested in Staffordshire County Council’s business support programme.