Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire ‘scaleup’ firms can help area overcome economic challenges created by Covid-19

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Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire is home to 485 fast-growing companies that can help the area overcome the economic challenges created by Covid-19, according to a new report.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) – which has been analysed by the ScaleUp Institute in its ONS ScaleUp Landscape report – shows that together the firms employ a total of 37,780 staff and generate £5.5 billion in turnover.

The 485 companies have been defined as ‘scaleup businesses’ which have increased their turnover or employee numbers annually by more than 20 per cent over a three-year period.

At the same time, a further 225 firms in Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire have been identified as ‘pipeline businesses’ – whose performance in growing turnover and employee numbers annually by between 15 and 19.99 per cent – puts them just outside the definition of a scaleup.

Compared to cities in the West Midlands and the North West, Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire’s scaleup figures are much lower – with 900 scaleups and 460 pipeline businesses in Greater Birmingham and Solihull and 1,375 scaleups and 700 pipeline businesses in Greater Manchester.

But the ScaleUp Institute’s chief executive Irene Graham has praised the region for offering a ‘number of services for scaleups.”

Ms Graham added that, with headwinds created by Covid-19 and Brexit, scaleups across the UK need effective support to remove a range of barriers challenging long-term growth and the role they can play in helping the local economy flourish.

She said: “Scaleups have remained resilient in the face of the Covid-19 emergency and continue to be critical to local economies with many still planning to grow.

“But this is no time for complacency, with scaleups citing challenges on accessing markets and finance dialing up, as they face the uncertainties that Covid and Brexit create. We must double down on efforts to create a supportive environment or risk losing the benefit of their enterprise and productivity.”

She added: “In Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire scaleup leaders particularly highlight access to talent, leadership development and access to infrastructure, premises and broadband as key issues. We recognise that the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire offers a number of services for scaleups, which we will continue to monitor in how they are addressing their concerns.”

Founded in 2015, The ScaleUp Institute is a private-sector led, not-for-profit organisation focused on collaborating with policy makers, corporates, finance players, educators and Government at a local and national level.

The aim of the organisation is to help the UK to become the best place in the world to grow a business as well as start one – and enable existing high growth businesses to ‘scale up’ even further.


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