The number of businesses in the UK has hit a new record high, as government figures published today put the number of private sector firms at 5.4m.
Breaking this down by business size reveals that small and medium-sized businesses account for almost half of generated turnover – and three fifths of all people employed.
Small businesses, those employing less than 50 people, unsurprisingly make up the vast majority of the 5.4m figure: the sector accounts for 99.3 per cent of all businesses in the country.
But while they're small in size, their contribution to the UK economy is nothing to be scoffed at. The Business Population Estimate from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills estimated that small firms generate over £1 trillion in turnover, or about a third of total business turnover.
Add medium-sized businesses contributions to that and you get almost half of total turnover.
There are also over 7,000 large businesses in the UK, employing 250 people or more. Together these employ over 10m people and generate over £2trn turnover.
Business minister Anna Soubry called the record figures “fantastic news”, adding that new businesses were creating jobs and ensuring UK economic security:
Our long-term economic plan has helped create the conditions for businesses to start, grow and flourish. But with risks in the global economy, this government is determined to continue to back our businesses and grow our economy.