Biggest number of small firms since before the financial crisis

DESPITE difficulties in getting access to credit, the number of small firms is growing at a faster rate than their larger counterparts.

According to research published by the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers (NACFB) today, the number of small and medium-sized enterprises in the country is now at a six-year high of 2.16m. The group’s latest report suggests that there has been a 4.2 per cent increase in small businesses than since 2011, compared to 3.3 per cent growth among large employers.

Professional, scientific and technical industries have seen particularly large numbers of new businesses open up, while construction is one of the few sectors to record a decline.