By Daniel Hunter
Surrey is defying the downturn according to research by Barclays that revealed the county has more start-up businesses with big turnovers than anywhere outside London.
The Barclays figures show around one in seven Surrey companies that started up in the past three years are turning over more than £100,000 annually, compared to the national average of one in 10.
Surrey County Council is working with a whole range of business partners to promote economic growth. The council is also contributing directly to the local economy with its pledge to commit 60% of its spend on goods and services to local firms.
“Surrey businesses are leading the UK’s economic recovery by succeeding during tough times," Peter Martin, Deputy Leader of Surrey County Council, said.
"We’ve been working with businesses to promote innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship and to ensure people have the skills they need to succeed.”
In order to further Surrey’s economic success, the county council has also made a bid to Government for £16 million to fund transport infrastructure improvements in the county. The bid is called Travel Smart.
“Good roads help businesses run more efficiently, leading to growth and more jobs. It’s estimated that congestion on Surrey’s roads costs the county’s economy £550 million a year," Mr Martin added.
“If we are successful in our funding bid to the Department for Transport, we can ease congestion and help Surrey’s start-ups and other businesses to grow further. This will also encourage more entrepreneurs to start their own companies, furthering the UK’s economic recovery.”
Surrey generates £28 billion annually for the UK economy* and contributes more net taxation to the UK Exchequer than any area outside London.
“The research reveals that the dream of running your own business is flourishing and potentially lucrative, as ‘recession baby’ businesses that started during the recession continue to grow and succeed," Simon Cossons, Barclays’ Area Business manager in Surrey, said.
“Our Surrey-based business managers are certainly seeing some strong business growth and the great transport links, proximity to London, affluent client base and strong skills base all help these businesses to thrive.”
The county council aims to help double the size of Surrey’s economy by 2026. This will include ensuring 100% superfast broadband coverage in the county to help firms do business online.
The local authority has also been helping companies make the most of opportunities provided by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. So far more than £740 million worth of 2012 Games related contracts have been won by Surrey businesses which has boosted the local economy by around 3%.
Last month, Surrey County Council signed a pledge with seven other local authorities to promote economic growth in an area known as the Gatwick Diamond.
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