SMEs find their ‘second’ home in Reading

Reading has the second highest concentration of Small and Medium Sized businesses (SMEs) in the UK, according to a new report from the think tank, Centre for Cities.

The Small Business Outlook 2014 ranks Reading behind only London in terms of the number of SMEs per 10,000 population, with a growth of 5.2% between 2011 and 2013.

The report relates SME density to measures of SME performance, including business start ups and SME expansion. The larger the SME base relative to the urban population the more job opportunities are likely to be available.

Sue Brackley, Economic Development Manager, Reading UK CIC, said: “Reading is showing really strong results in the latest Centre for Cities report, having the highest concentration of SMEs in the UK outside London. It confirms what we already know – that Reading is a place where entrepreneurs can thrive. But beyond this the report also shows we score highly in SME job creation and training – reinforcing the fact that small, high growth business is the future of a strong local economy.”       

In other key findings from the report:-

  • Reading figured strongly for business start ups with a growth rate of 4.4%, ranking Reading 5th among top UK cities
  • Reading was rated 10th for the highest number of jobs created by expanding SMEs
  • Reading ranked 5th for the highest proportion of SMEs expanding (1.6% growth 2011-13 compared to 2008-11).
  • Reading is one of five cities in which the professional services sector is the largest employer (Cambridge / Oxford / London / Aberdeen / Reading).
  • The report also highlighted the global reach of many of Reading SMEs, with only 30% operating primarily in the local market.
  • Reading SMEs have the 9th highest investment in staff training.

Andrew Stuart, Director of Operations (EMEA) of Datto Inc, a global technology company with its European HQ based in Reading,  said: “Relocating with Datto to Reading was not only a strategic move for the team, but for me personally also a lifestyle choice.  Reading without a doubt is rapidly transforming into becoming one of the few first-class technology hubs within the UK.  For the growth of Datto which is essential, Reading has an abundance of keen and skilled professionals to choose from and the excellent access to London is important from both a business and personal aspect."

More information on the report.