A drop in the ocean: financing businesses in all corners of the UK

Posted: Wednesday, 15 January 2020 @ 09:40

We live in something of an X Factor world. After all, who doesn’t love an all-singing (literally), all-dancing story of meteoric, overnight success?

Nonetheless, sometimes these flash celebrations and dramatic stories can lead us to overlook the power of less glittering, but arguably more sustainable, and perhaps harder won, successes. Those built on the drip, drip, drip of good management and hard work over weeks, months and years. The kind that are behind many of the UK’s individuals and SMEs, and which are intrinsic to the stability of our collective lives.

Value the 65%

Once upon a time, and maybe to some extent still, there was an idea that British business was predominantly done in big cities. Not least, London. In certain ways, this still rings true, but in the UK there are more than 5.8 million small businesses (according to the Federation of Small Businesses), and they are spread across the country.

Last year, the private sector business population increased 3.5%. It doesn’t sound like a lot until you realise that equates to more than 200,000 businesses. They account for 99.9% of the business population (5.9 million businesses). That’s also 60% of total employment at 16.6 million people. And turnover last year was estimated at £2.2 trillion (52%).

In 2019 the chemical make-up of those businesses included 3.5 million sole proprietorships (59%), 2.0 million actively trading companies (34%) and 405,000 ordinary partnerships (7%). 

Granted 35% of those SMEs are in London and the South East, making up the largest concentration. However, the remaining 65% is a significant proportion that has a profound impact on our economy as a whole. Without it, we would be lost. For example, there are 152,000 private sector businesses in the North East. 

Small but mighty

So why do we mention this litany of facts and figures, courtesy of the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills?

It’s very easy for us all to focus our thoughts and energies on centres of clear abundance, whether it’s in our personal lives or our business ones. The story of ‘Eric’ who won X Factor on a tide of confetti might eclipse the tale of ‘Joe’ who managed to employ 25 people in his local community, having built his business over 15 years. However, that doesn’t make it more interesting in reality.  

We should never underestimate the impact of a drop in the ocean. If we don’t take notice and care, we could very well end up missing out on the rising tide altogether. At Rivers Leasing, we’re big fans of the drip, drip, drip approach to success in all areas of life. The small actions we all take to support one another each day have a cumulative impact that benefits the whole, which is why we offer finance to hard working businesses and individuals in all corners of the UK. 

Find out more about leasing and asset finance by contacting Rivers Leasing

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