The Top 100 supplement published today in The Star is an unmissable annual analysis of the biggest firms in the region.
The elite include such household names as Wilko, DFS Furniture, Maplin and Go Outdoors as well as less well-known big hitters SIG – the region’s biggest firm for 12 years running – Keepmoat and Outokumpu Stainless.
The top 100 are vital to our economic health – between them they employ more than 81,000 people and earn £17.3 billion a year.
And if they’re doing well, it’s safe to say most of the other 44,600 companies in our patch are doing well too.
Which means more jobs – and more tax being paid, which ought to benefit our public services.
This isn’t a snapshot from Government or the Office of National Statistics, but detailed figures compiled by Sheffield accountancy firm BHP and written up by us – and no-one else.
So how are our elite firms doing?
The headline figures show sales are up four per cent on last year and employee numbers have grown by the same amount.
Sales and employees grew last year too.
But pre-tax profits are down on last year, by 39 per cent.
This might not be all bad, it is thought a fall of 13 per cent in profits in the services sector is due to an extra 2,500 people working in it regionally, their wages putting a dent in the bottom line.
Overall it’s a mixed picture, with some – such as building products and construction – doing well after years of malaise.
Others, such as the retail and manufacturing sectors, have seen falls in profits and turnover.
Uncertainty ahead of the general election – which puts manufacturers off making big investment decisions – may have had an impact.
Nevertheless, a story of sustained growth sends the right message to the world – whether it is retailers contemplating a move into the New Retail Quarter, or manufacturers from the other side of the world.
Only last week a Chinese steel factory giant opened a European office in Sheffield.
And only yesterday a high-profile South Korean trade delegation spent the day in the region and visited the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.
Meanwhile, plans for an advanced manufacturing innovation district are being reported around the world, signalling what we know: the region is open for business.