West Midlands sees start-up business boom since Brexit vote
The West Midlands has recorded the highest increase in new businesses in the country since the Brexit vote, according to new figures.
The region has seen a 21 per cent spike in new firms since the UK voted to leave the EU in June 2016, seemingly defying fears that Brexit would be bad for bad for business.
Figures from Creditsafe's start-up index showed the West Midlands recorded 54,241 start-ups from May 2016 to April 2017, rising to 65,762 over the same period in 2018-19.
The number of new firms was eight per cent higher than in London and nine times higher than in the whole south east of England.
According to the data the region also had the fewest insolvencies in the country over the past three years, although the figure had still increased by 10 per cent.
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Start-up Index, on the face of it, does paint a welcome rosy picture for businesses in the West Midlands and it is pleasing that the region has performed so well since the referendum.
“But for the future, much will depend on how quickly Boris Johnson and the new government applies every effort to finding a way forward on Brexit that also enables businesses and the economy to flourish.”
Brexit expert Professor Roger Awan-Scully, said that although there continued to be "many uncertainties" surrounding the UK's exit from the EU, the country's economy was showing itself to be "impressively robust".
"What we don’t yet know is how business and the broader economy might be affected if a No Deal Brexit starts to seem inevitable," he added.
"Many businesses currently rely on single-market access, often in subtle and un-noticed ways: what will be the consequences if that ceases suddenly?”
Chris Robertson, CEO at Creditsafe, said: “While all regions have seen an increase in insolvencies since 2016, it’s fantastic to see that budding entrepreneurs have not been deterred by the outcome of the EU referendum and the impasse it has caused.
"Business owners up and down the country are still planning ahead and remain tenacious, with the West Midlands really leading the way when it comes to defying the uncertainty and riding out the storm.
“We can only hope that economic stability resumes sooner rather than later, and with that the confidence for more people to start their own business, particularly in those regions that have been most negatively impacted by Brexit.”