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Business Boomed in 2021 With The Highest Count of New Businesses in Four Years


The pandemic and lockdowns hit everybody hard. Businesses had to adapt, and unfortunately, many had to shut up shop. But, surprisingly, the latest ONS figures for new businesses set up in 2021 show the highest count in over four years with a total of 401,810.

That’s an 11% increase from 2020, which had a total of 360,455 new businesses set up altogether.  

When it comes down to individual quarters, it was the first quarter of 2021 that showed the highest count of new businesses born out of all the quarters since 2017, with a record of 136,765.

The first quarter of 2021 records the highest number of business births in four years

UK businesses lost £23million in turnover during pandemic, with a quick bounce-back

When examining the recorded turnover for UK businesses during 2020 compared to the previous year, it’s clear to see the impact of a pandemic. During 2019, the overall turnover for that year was £105,937,229, but for 2020, it was £82,350,398, resulting in a £23,586,831 loss in comparison. To put that into context, 2018’s overall turnover was recorded at £117,950,437 and 2017’s was £128,913,676. Quite remarkably though, the first quarter of 2021 recorded the highest ever turnover since the first quarter of 2017, with £34,788,650, showing that the UK is pretty resilient. This coincides with the highest record of new business births in the same quarter in four years, with a total of 136,765. And latest figures show similar stats with the first quarter of 2022 recording a count of 136,390 for new businesses set up.

The Construction sector leads the way for new business in the first quarter of 2022

During the first quarter of 2022, when analysing the breakdown of new business counts by industries, it’s the Construction industry that beats the rest with a total of 18,695. Followed by Business Administration and Support Services with 16,685, and Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities with 16,135. The industry with the least number of new business births so far this year is Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing with 1,250.

The North West pulls big business after London and the South East 

Out of all the regions across the UK, unsurprisingly, London takes the top spot for the most business births during 2021, with 90,365. The South East follows with 53,330 new businesses recorded the same year. The next highest count of new businesses, when looking at regions in 2021, was the North West with 41,975.

Managing Director of Greater Manchester office redesign team, Diamond Interiors, Nick Pollitt shares his take on why the North West is popular for businesses:

“Locations up north are cheaper to rent, and there’s a thriving community here linked to specialised universities nearby. Businesses are opting for Manchester or towns outside of the bustling city for their exciting development plans. We are based in Wigan and love it here. We’re not too far from Manchester for networking and love the area, the community, and how the government is stepping up investment and development plans.”

To read more about the exciting developments up in the North West, head to