Small Business Outlook 2013

SMEs are important to city economies. We look at the challenges they face.

Report published on 15 July 2013 by Naomi Clayton

National and local economies both depend on the success of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). SMEs make up at least 99 per cent of businesses in UK cities, and their resilience and adaptability mean they have become more important over the last decade.

Between 2005 and 2012, the number of city-based SMEs increased by 37 per cent, compared to a 14 per cent increase in the number of large firms. Yet SMEs in different cities vary enormously in their ability to generate jobs and value.

Small Business Outlook 2013 examines the geography of SME performance and the factors that determine it. It finds that SMEs in the weakest economies have been affected most, reinforcing existing geographic divides.

Watch a short animation:

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As part of this project we also wrote several articles for Zurich’s internal magazine, Zurich Insider:

Zurich Logo hi res

Small Business Outlook 2013 is supported by Zurich Insurance.
Graphics and animation by Soapbox.


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Policy and Research Manager