Firms struggle to stay afloat

Christian Spence, head of business intelligence at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

Christian Spence, head of business intelligence at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce

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ALMOST half the Wigan businesses trading at the start of the last Parliament have now been dissolved, new figures have revealed.

Statistics compiled by Inform Direct show 52.7 of companies in the constituency have made it through the five years in which David Cameron has been prime minister.

A total of 1,635 businesses were formed in the constituency between 2010 and 2015 and 1,321 have been dissolved, with Wigan also seeing an overall 11.5 per cent rise in the number of companies from 2,764 to 3,078.

The figures show Wigan performed better than Makerfield, where just 47.7 per cent of companies active when the previous Parliament was sworn in still in business and 940 companies being dissolved between 2010 and 2015.

A total of 1,232 companies in Makerfield were formed during the last Parliament and the total number of firms in the constituency rose by 16.3 per cent from 1,788 to 2,080.

There was better news in Leigh, where 1,952 companies were formed and 1,339 dissolved. The number of companies in the constituency rose by 20.2 per cent, with 56.1 per cent of firms active in 2010 still trading when Parliament was recently dissolved.

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce acknowledged the low rate of businesses surviving their first few years and called for more support for those looking to set firms up.

Head of research and policy Christian Spence said: “There are many reasons why businesses ultimately fail, from a poor management strategy, insufficient capital, a dying market and, of course, the wider economic performance of the economy as a whole and within local areas too.

“Business survival rates are, on average, not high, with around one-third dying within three years and around half within five. It is because of this high failure rate that business support initiatives, whether government or private sector-led, are so important.”