Creative sector SMEs grow faster than traditional firms

Creative sector SMEs are creating jobs at a faster rate than small businesses in traditional industries such as manufacturing and construction, according to research by the think tank Centre for Cities.

Creative, digital and professional industries SMEs have made a significant impact on the wider economy of cities through increasing demand and jobs among other sectors including service-based businesses, retail and leisure.

The research finds that between 2008-2014:

  • the number of SMEs in the creative sector rose by 25% while numbers in professional sectors increased by 17%
  • employment rose by 22% in creative industries and by 11% in professional industries
  • the number of SMEs in manufacturing increased by 2% while numbers in construction fell by 8%
  • employment also fell by 3% in manufacturing and 14% in construction.

Alexandra Jones, chief executive of Centre for Cities, said:

“This report highlights that the world of work is changing, with big implications for how we support and grow our cities and the national economy.

“The government needs to give cities greater control skills, infrastructure and spending to help them become more responsive to the needs of local businesses. The government’s plan to let local governments keep business rates is a welcome step towards giving cities more of the tools and flexibility they need.”

Jason Eatock, Head of SME at the insurance group Zurich, said:

“We should all look to support these SMEs across the UK, whether we are local government or big business. Small businesses are driving productivity and creating employment for their surrounding communities – as shown by the 22% rise in employment within these ‘new work’ industries.”

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