Businesses launched in South Lanarkshire have a 40 per cent chance of making it to five years.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that of the firms launched here in 2008, 60 per cent had folded five years later.
Across the UK, 41 per cent of businesses started in 2008 were still trading in 2013, while the Scottish average was 43 per cent.
There was some good news though as the number of active enterprises in South Lanarkshire increased in the three years up to 2013, the most recent year for figures.
Responding to the statistics, the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce and the West of Scotland branch of the Federation of Small Businesses expressed optimism for the future.
Neil Kennedy is the Chamber’s chief executive and said: “I know a number of Lanarkshire businesses who are increasing employment and orders, there is some resilience in export figures and unemployment figures.
“A lot of what has happened, people have been forced to set up in business as there is no unemployment for them and that’s a big contributor to the statistics.”
The numbers show that in 2008, a total of 875 businesses were created in South Lanarkshire. A year later, 840 (96 per cent) were still going.gg
Two years later, 680 (77 per cent) were still in business.
Then three years later, 530 (60 per cent) were still afloat.
By the fourth year, just over a half of the business, 445, were still there.
And at the end of the fifth year,y jjust 355 (40 per cent) had managed to keep their doors open.
Hisashi Kuboyama, the Federation of Small Businesses’ development manager for the West of Scotland, said: “There is more to these figures than meets the eye, because a single business failure isn’t necessarily the end of the story for an entrepreneur. Often it is someone’s second, third or fourth business which takes off.”
Things are marginally better in North Lanarkshire, where businesses have a 41 per cent chance of making it to their fifth year.
In 2008, there were 810 start-ups in North Lanarkshire. A year later 755 (93) per cent) were still operating.g
Two years later, 610 (75 per cent) had managedg to keep going.gg
By the third year, 460 (56 per cent) were afloat.
Then by the fourth year, 390 (48 per cent) had stayedy in business.
And five years later, 335 (41 per cent) were still there.
The good news was that the number of business active in South Lanarkshire soared in the three years up to 2013.
In 2009 there were 7995 business in South Lanarkshire, 8150 in 2010, 8065 in 2011, 8125 in 2012 and 8430 in 2013.
Ac ross S ou t h L a na rks hi re, 8 8 0 businesses were created in 2009 while 865 went out of business.
In 2010, 810 were created and 885 went out of businesses.
Then in 2011, 905 were created and 810 went out of business.
In 2012, 915 were created and 880 went out of business.
Then in 2013, there was a huge increase as 1225 businesses were created and 835 went out of business.
Mr Kennedy, a chartered accountant with Kennedy Corporate Development, based at Hamilton’s New Douglas Park, continued: “Starting a business is a difficult thing to do in most circumstances. That’s why the Chamber exists, to help new business network.
“We’re keen to help businesses, and to help exports through the international Chamber network.
“We’re involved in working with the local authority and other agencies to decrease unemployment, and youth unemployment in particular.
“If you’re starting up a business, you need all the help you can get. The best help is networking with people who have made the same mistakes that you are about to.
“We’re quite confident that if you are a quality business with quality products and quality services, there will be a market for that.
“The Chamber community tend to be very supportive of new businesses. It is difficult but everyone in businesses has started out at some time.
“T h e C h a m b e r c o m m u n i t y in Lanarkshire is very well connected. I wish more businesses would approach us for help, that’s what we’re here to do.”
In 2009 there were 6660 business in North Lanarkshire, 6950 in 2010, 6855 in 2011, 7005 in 2012 and 7195 in 2013.
Ac ro ss Nor th Lanarkshire, 760 businesses were created in 2009 while 740 went out of business.
In 2010, 800 were created and 765 went out of businesses.
Then in 2011, 815 were created and 625 went out of business.
In 2012, 850 were created and 775 went out of business.
Then in 2013, there was a huge increase as 1090 businesses were created and 710 went out of business.
Mr Kuboyama added: “High business failure rates shows just how difficult it can be to run a business. That’s why the FSB lobbies for environment that gives businesses opportunity to thrive. One of our key achievements is Small Business Bonus Scheme, which gives small firms significant discounts on business rates.
“Anyone starting a business needs to do their homework before taking the plunge. You will find several business support organisations out there, and the FSB is for self-employed and small businesses. By joining the FSB you get access to a range of service, such as free legal and tax advice as well as independent financial health check, which gives your business a better chance of success.”
Go online to www.lanarkshirechamber. org or www. fsb. org. uk/ scotland for business help.
Optimistic Neil Kennedy is the Lanarkshire Chamber of Commerce’s chief executive