Business Landscape of Wales – Autumn 2020

How’s the Welsh business landscape looking?

There were 267,000 business enterprises in Wales in 2019, according to the Office of National Statistics. This was the highest number recorded over the period since 2003. The growth from 169,000 enterprises in 2003 has been consistent year after year. Small and medium sized businesses (SME’s) accounted for 62.4% of the estimated 1.2m people in employment in Wales at the end of 2019.

Of this number, 263,000 SME’s employed fifty staff members or less. Which demonstrates the importance of businesses surviving the current 2020 crisis.

There has been a growth in the number of businesses in the large category – employing more than two-hundred and fifty staff members. However, the medium size band of business employing between 50 and 249 employees saw the greatest growth in employment – up 2.9% over the year.

The Covid effect

Levels of positivity coming into 2020 were high across all sectors of Business. Many business owners saw 2020 as one of growth and expansion. That all changed with Covid-19 making its entry into the UK in late winter.

On the 29th October, Begbies Traynor released a report indicating 557,000 UK businesses are now in significant distress – almost 10% of total enterprises in the UK as at the end of 2019. Reflecting this detail into the Welsh business enterprise data would indicate around 27,000 enterprises will be in significant distress. This is significantly concerning due to the levels of support made available to Welsh businesses since March 2020 by the UK Government, Welsh Government and local authorities.

In essence, this data emphasises the need for busy family business owners in Wales to seek professional support early. To help them navigate the current economic pressures and survive. Seeking a second opinion or indeed guidance from an experienced business consultant can allow effective decisions to be made that will help to keep your business on track. These are difficult times but finding new ways to do business and identifying new markets and customers to serve can transform many business models. As the saying goes, ‘keep doing the same things and you get the same results’. Now is the time for decisive action to gain the right information, advice and guidance that will help you succeed.

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