SMALL and medium- sized enterprises from the Sheffield City Region are feeling the squeeze, according to the latest Top 100 SMEs survey, carried out by leading independent accountants Barber Harrison & Platt and Star Business.
Despite that, the 100 most profitable SMEs still succeeded in contributing £105 million in profits and £1.3 million in sales, whilst providing employment for more than 8,500 people during the past year.
A total of 48 new companies have gained a place in the rankings this year, a slight increase on last year, when 45 companies were admitted.
But there are still some well-established businesses at the top of the table, including first-placed History & Heraldry, the Rotherham-based firm which designs and markets a range of impulse purchase products, small and comparatively cheap gifts which are sold in 50 countries around the world.
Other regular leaders include Bawtry Carbon International, which makes cathodes and other carbon-based products, Hi-Level Enterprises, the Doncaster-based motorcycle spares wholesaler, Sheffield-based Pricecheck Toiletries, Panache Lingerie and Kilnhurst-based Charles Thompson.
Charles Thompson has grown over three decades from a small fabricator, serving the local steel and coal industries, to a leading designer, manufacturer and installer of process plant, serving major companies in the world’s pharmaceutical, petrochemical, oil and gas industries.
Entry to the rankings is more difficult than ever before. Back in 2004, profits of £217,000 would have secured a company a place in the table. The top placed company in 2004, History & Heraldry, notched up profits of £4.2m.
Today, entry comes with a £396,000 price tag and the top company – History & Heraldry once again – has made profits of £7.2m.
Meanwhile, companies securing a place in the Top 100 rankings are increasingly from Sheffield and Chesterfield.
Sheffield is now home to 43 companies that have gained a place in this year’s table – an increase of seven on last year – while 19 can be found in Chesterfield – an increase of three on last year.
Although Barnsley has five fewer Top 100 SMEs than last year, its total of 14 still beats Rotherham and Doncaster which both have 12 Top 100 SMEs apiece – down from 15 last year in Rotherham’s case and 14 for Doncaster.