City new firms smash record

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ALMOST 1,200 new businesses have been formed in Sheffield in the first four months of the year - the highest figure since Victorian times when records began.

There were 903 new start-up firms registered with Companies House in the city between January and March, followed by 291 in April - 11 per cent higher than the previous record of 265, from April 2008, before the recession.

Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP Nick Clegg said: “This is great news for Sheffield and a clear sign the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in our city. Sheffield is open for business.”

But Gordon Millward, Sheffield-based regional chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “I’m not especially surprised because, in the current situation, with the job market how it is, people who have that little bit extra about themselves are going to think about going into business themselves.

“We’ve given out a lot of advice to start-up businesses in the last few months.”

Neville Martin, development manager at South Yorkshire FSB, added: “People want to take their lives into their own hands.

“The issue is that in the past quite a lot of start-up businesses have not lasted.

“We have launched the Yorkshire Enterprise Club to provide extra support to help them with any problems and make it more likely they can survive.”

Johanne Gilroy, who has formed a careers advice business in Broomhall and has joined the Enterprise Club, said: “I decided to set up my own firm in response to being made redundant as a careers advisor.”

The number of start-up businesses is growing across in South Yorkshire.

Claire Bradwell, of Herringthorpe, Rotherham, has set up Hip Rocker, based at Century Business Centre, Manvers, to manufacture specially-designed chairs for children with displaced hips.

Mum-of-three Claire, aged 26, who was helped by the Prince’s Trust and the FSB, and said: “I am so passionate about what I’m doing but I have set up in business partly because of there being such a high level of unemployment.”