Record rise in number of new Norwich firms

PUBLISHED: 13:23 14 January 2014 | UPDATED: 13:23 14 January 2014

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Chloe Smith: "Great economic news"

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A surge in business confidence has led to a record rise in the number of firms starting up across Norwich, says a new report.

The survey by company formation specialists supports the positive messages for the wider Norfolk economy in the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) quarterly report published earlier this month.

The report highlights the fact that net company growth - the number of company formations minus the number of company closures - stood at 205 for the three months to September (Q3) compared to 166 over the same period in 2012.

During the third quarter, there were 468 new companies formed in the area - more than any other Q3 on record for the area and a 14pc rise on Q3 for 2012. managing director Peter Valaitis said: “The numbers we are seeing for Norwich are very positive indeed. A rise in company formations suggests entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the area and that business confidence is growing as we move beyond the recession.”

The positive report comes in the wake of the BCC’s Q4 survey which also suggests gathering momentum in the economy countywide.

It found that for both Norfolk manufacturing and services, all the major Q4 balances are stronger than their long-term averages, and most are higher than their 2007 pre-recession levels.

Key manufacturing balances remain strong, allaying fears in Q3 that the growth spurt in manufacturing was temporary; export balances in the Norfolk services sector are at record highs for the survey.

Norfolk chamber CEO Caroline Williams described it as a “fantastic to start the new year”.

“ Confidence is high and our members are resolute in their determination to take the recovery from being good to being truly great. Firms from all sectors across the county believe they can create jobs, invest, and export,” she said.

City MP Chloe Smith said the survey - supporting the earlier data - was “great news for Norwich and reflects the reality”.

She said: “Many people are choosing to strike out on their own and that is really important for the local economy because small firms have brilliant ideas and employ people, and together that makes a formidable force.”

Ms Smith made a plea for small firms starting up to support the Norwich For Jobs campaign and “help get young Norwich working”.

She said: “Taking on good young people will support our aim of halving the city’s youth unemployment and it will also provide the fresh talent to help firms flourish and grow.”

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