Rutherglen Reformer - - St Charles’ Primary -

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 go­

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 go­

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 to­nark­shirecham­ber. org or www. fsb. org. uk/ scot­land for business help.

Op­ti­mistic Neil Kennedy is the La­nark­shire Cham­ber of Com­merce’s chief ex­ec­u­tive

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