East Midlands start-ups figure drops – but entrepreneurs still hungry

One of the wettest starts to the year has failed to dampen the enthusiasm of East Midlands entrepreneurs as 2,540 new businesses were set up in the region last month.

This is according to the Midlands branch of R3, the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body, which says that while the figure is a 7.13% decrease on the 2,735 recorded in February, it still indicates a sizeable appetite for new business in the region and opportunities for growth.

The R3 Midlands figures, which are based on an analysis of data from business intelligence provider Creditsafe, also indicate some improvement in the local economy as debts owed by East Midlands businesses in liquidation decreased by 17.73% last month.

In contrast, however, the number of local companies with late payments on their books has risen since the start of the year, reaching 23,610 last month compared to 23,194 in January.

R3 Midlands chair Stephen Rome, a partner at law firm Penningtons Manches Cooper in the region, said: “It’s good to see local entrepreneurs seizing opportunities to set up and trade, and the monthly fall in start-ups could indicate a sensible degree of necessary caution due to challenging and uncertain economic conditions.

“Business owners should remain cautious moving through 2024 as they and their supply chain continue to be under pressure from elevated Bank of England interest rates and prices for goods and services which are significantly higher than three years ago.

“Despite welcome news from the ONS that the UK’s economy is expanding, it’s critical for directors and managers to be alert to any signs of financial distress and act on them promptly. There is a significant amount which can be done to rescue and support East Midlands businesses if professional help is taken early enough.”