Not many people saw that coming.
South Yorkshire has smashed the record for new businesses in a single year – 8,318 were formed in 2014. (See Business Weekly)
Take away the 5,130 that were dissolved in the same period and we’re left with an increase of more than 3,000 firms in one year alone.
This is great news for our business leaders on the Local Enterprise Partnership who set a target of 6,000 new businesses in the 10 years from 2015.
At this rate we’ll get there in no time. Now for the bad news.
It’s incredibly easy and cheap to ‘set up a firm’ these days and analysts reckon about a third are established by one or two people – and most of them lie dormant.
And that takes the fizz off the LEP’s chance of hitting another target it set at the same time – 70,000 additional jobs in Sheffield City Region by 2025.
The figure raised eyebrows because it was more than three times what economists were predicting.
Nevertheless, the figures are good news and making it easy to start a company can only be a good thing.
South Yorkshire, with its history of entrepreneurship, could be about to rediscover its world-beating business mojo.