Newcastle’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are driving employment growth in the city, with health services ranging from midwifery to acupuncture alone set to generate £10 million annually to the city’s economy by 2021.
That’s according to new research from npower Business and Capital Economics, which identifies the top five sectors in the city for SMEs – and concludes that these alone will add £54 million and 1,500 jobs to Newcastle’s economy over the next five years.
The npower Business research found that health services, restaurant and mobile food enterprises, temporary employment agencies and computer programming, consultancy and related activities are the top sectors that will drive Newcastle’s SME surge.
Richard Longbottom, Head of npower Business, said: “Newcastle has been one of just a few UK cities to be in the World Health Organisation’s “Healthy City Network” so the results seem fitting. It’s a fabulous city with a real entrepreneurial streak. And as the report shows, SMEs have created nearly 10,000 jobs since 2010. Supporting SMEs is our focus and we look forward to continuing to help Newcastle thrive, helping them to reduce their energy bills and supporting their growth.”
The company, which helps over 170,000 UK SMEs better understand and manage energy by reducing their energy costs and improving their bottom lines, has partnered with Tim Campbell, winner of the first series of BBC’s The Apprentice, to highlight and celebrate the businesses super powering the city.
The number of SMEs has increased by 24% since 2010, to around 7,500, the report shows, with a high concentration of SMEs in legal activities; twice the size relative to the entire Newcastle economy as it is nationally to the national economy.
There are also high concentrations of SMEs in restaurants and mobile food services, food beverages and tobacco retail, estate agents and medical and dental practices. Low living costs and favourable demographics support the growth of SMEs in Newcastle.
The report comes as Office of National Statistics (ONS) figures show that nation’s employment rate is the highest since comparable records began in 1971 – with 31.95 million people now in work across the country.
The Apprentice winner Tim Campbell, who is fronting the campaign said: “SMEs are fundamental to Britain’s economy. Not only do they inject a substantial amount of money into local economies, they create significant jobs throughout Britain. Throughout my career, I have witnessed many remarkable SMEs grow into new markets before going on to flourish and prosper. Their capabilities should be recognised and celebrated. So I’m thrilled to be working with npower Business to get SMEs the recognition that they deserve.”