SMEs accounted for 99.9% of all private sector businesses in the UK at the start of 2017, according to government figures.

Annual statistics from the Department for Business, Industry, Energy and Strategy showed there were 5.7 million private sector businesses – up 197,000 on the same time in 2016.

Small businesses alone accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the turn of the year, with that figure rising to 99.9% when factoring in medium-sized firms.

SMEs contributed £1.9 trillion to the economy in combined annual turnover last year, accounting for 51% of all private sector turnover in 2017.

60% of the UK business population is made up of sole traders, while 33% are companies and 7% are partnerships.

Quote from Nigel Holland:

“Small businesses are vital in today’s economy. With a rise in the number of small businesses, this brings a huge benefit for society. Not only do firms provide jobs when they first open up, but if consumer demand increases, the businesses are likely to create additional new jobs to help them cope with this demand, thus reducing unemployment.

Small businesses are also very useful to society because they very often grow into larger businesses, especially when they are successful in indentifying a gap in the market and making the most of this opportunity. It is important that small firms satisfy a need which is demanded by their potential consumers in order to gain their custom. Such potential profit will drive local businesses to be more competitive so that they are able to maintain and attract custom. This competition in turn leads to the overall outcome in that consumers will gain the best service possible, which will then encourage them to spend more.

If consumers spend more in their local community, this helps economic development in the area because the money stays within the community and thus allowing other local businesses to continue functioning and offering a service/product.”