- GoDaddy analysis of ONS data reveals that Wellingborough is the fastest growing area for business births in the entire country, with Corby ranked third on the list
- During national lockdown [April to June 2020], one of the areas with the highest number of new entrepreneurs was neighbouring Milton Keynes, which saw new businesses grow by 29% – double the national average of 14%
- However, polling of small business owners in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes finds they are increasingly concerned about the impact of a local lockdown, and say they would need government grants and financial support to survive
- With over 4,500 new businesses set up in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes since 2017, GoDaddy is holding a free, live Back to Business virtual roadshow on 8th October to help these businesses better navigate the current challenging climate
Wellingborough, Corby and Milton Keynes have been revealed as some of the fastest growing places for micro-business (fewer than 10 employees) ‘births’ across Britain. Analysis by GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY), the company empowering everyday entrepreneurs, found that even at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of new businesses in Milton Keynes grew by 29% – double the national average of 14%.
This builds on data from the past three years, where between 2017 and the end of 2019, Wellingborough placed top of the list of fastest growing areas across the country, with nearby Corby ranked third of all local regions.
Yet micro-business owners in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes are increasingly concerned about the threats posed by the impact of potential new local lockdowns. Over a third (37%) say they would need government grants to continue to be operational, whilst 28% say they would need support with employee salaries – the top two measures needed were followed by a reduced VAT and a freeze on business rates.
A GoDaddy commissioned poll of micro-business owners found that a renewed COVID-19 outbreak is the biggest concern by some distance (38%), followed by a local lockdown (22%). This is significant as 99% of businesses in these areas are classed as “micro-businesses”.
Micro-businesses in Wellingborough, Corby and Milton Keynes have thrived in recent years, with just over 4,500 new businesses set up from 2017 to 2019. In Wellingborough alone, 2195 new micro-businesses were created during this time, according to official Office for National Statistics data.
Despite the current challenges, entrepreneur’s optimism and resilience remains, as 44% believe their business will surpass pre-COVID-19 revenue levels by end of 2020, and one fifth (20%) say that they have already surpassed these levels.
In order to continue playing a role in the UK’s economic recovery, 27% of Northamptonshire’s micro-business owners said they would require a better ability to sell their products or services online, whilst a quarter (25%) identified a stronger social media presence as essential to growth.
To help continue to support the UK micro-business community in its time of need, GoDaddy has launched a national Back to Business Virtual Roadshow, which will be coming to Northamptonshire on 8th October.
Sakshi Anand, GoDaddy Senior Director UK and Ireland said:
“We know times are tough for everyone at the moment, and there is uncertainty around what the winter holds. But it’s encouraging to see Northamptonshire being a hub for entrepreneurship. We need to listen to them and understand the support they require, so they can continue to play their role in the economic recovery from COVID-19.”
“That’s why we are hosting one of our Back to Business Roadshow’s here – part of our long-standing commitment to support everyday entrepreneurs and help ensure they are able to continue their positive impact on the communities they operate in.”
The series of events are being held in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce, and offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain advice, tips and support from other small businesses during these challenging times.
Louise Wall, Interim Chief Executive for Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, said:
“Small and micro businesses are the lifeblood of prosperity in Northamptonshire. We’re delighted to be working with GoDaddy to share knowledge and best practice with budding entrepreneurs, who will help drive prosperity and growth following the pandemic.”
One of the guest speakers for 8th October event is local business woman Suzy Sanders, the founder of virtual PA and administrative service Alchemy Virtual Assistance. Suzy set up the business from a makeshift home office in Northamptonshire in 2016 and has achieved impressive growth year-on-year ever since.
Suzy Sanders, Founder of Alchemy Virtual Assistance said:
“I founded Alchemy VA from my makeshift home office in 2016, so I know just how daunting, yet exciting it can be to start your own business.
“I am never going to shy away from the fact that being a business owner is hard, but if we can adapt and survive a national lockdown, then I have faith that this resilience would see us through potential further restrictions.
“It’s fantastic to see that Northamptonshire is a hub for entrepreneurship and I look forward to supporting future local entrepreneurs at the Back to Business Virtual Roadshow.”
Alongside Northamptonshire, GoDaddy analysis has identified five other entrepreneurial hubs around the country, which have all experienced unique bursts of micro-business activity. During the Autumn, the GoDaddy Presents: Back to Business Virtual Roadshow, will be going to the following areas – the top six most entrepreneurial areas in the country:
- North West Powerhouse, including Salford and Burnley
- Channel Coast, including Eastleigh and Brighton & Hove
- North East London Boroughs, including Hackney and Camden
- West Midlands Suburbs, including Wyre Forest and South Staffordshire