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10 UK businesses close for every seven new start-ups, study shows

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Seven new businesses are being set up each year across the UK compared to 10 closing, with Scotland the region with the most closures, a new study has revealed.

While a separate study out this week finds that 16% of retail space lies empty, Safestore has found that, according to PwC, the UK has seen an average of over 5,600 businesses close yearly since 2013, which is nearly 30% higher than the number of openings every year. When the figures are combined to show a net increase/decrease, all regions recorded a deficit in the number of businesses opened/closed.  

Wales was the region that recorded the lowest deficit in terms of closures, with a net decrease of 0.6 businesses closed yearly per 100,000 people. Conversely, Scotland have seen the highest rate of businesses closing with a deficit of 4.8 per 100,000 people. More than 1000 businesses open up shop each year in London, but see 1,400 close down on average every year, which sees them rank 2nd bottom in our study.

The number of businesses opening every year has been gradually decreasing, with last year showing 40% less businesses opening than the figure recorded in 2013. 

Why are they closing?

In every sector, business owners are faced with a number of problems to solve every day of the week. We’ve looked at 8 major sectors to find what matters most. 

Of all the metrics studied, legislation was the biggest concern on average. 30% of Agricultural companies place it as a key concern, with 1 in 5 owners of Transport, Real Estate and Business SMEs viewing it as a key issue.       

Finance is the next big problem, with  16% of manufacturing businesses see cash flow as a large concern, more than any other sector. The same sector also rank highest for worries over ‘access to finance’ with 1 in 10 stating it as a prominent issue.

Interestingly, the Economy isn’t the biggest issue, however it does come third. Only legislation is a more concerning factor for businesses than the current state of the economy, affecting 20% of Transport and Storage businesses. 

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