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A Decade In Business: Looking Back To 2010

Over the past three years, Informi has looked at where the Best Place To Start A Small Business In The UK is – with Brighton twice taking our crown and Ipswich triumphing once. This time we will be looking back over the past decade, to establish where the best place to start a small business during the 2010s has been. And as a result, we’ll be looking back over each year in the decade to see just what happened in the business world, and which companies thrived – and declined – as a result.


2010 in focus: A new coalition government takes power

While 2010 was a year of recovery in the world of business, the effects of the 2007-08 global financial crisis were still potent and present. This meant bad news for smaller companies, especially within the UK, as banks were tightening the lending purses. Finance was tight and a big issue. Despite this, there were still a large number of start-ups. London, for example, saw approximately 63,700 start-ups in 2010, a 2.45% increase from the previous year.

The business world was rocked early in the year when British confectionery giant Cadbury was taken over by US firm Kraft in an £11.9 billion deal. Despite initial fears over Cadbury’s loss of independence and some job losses, the business has largely continued to thrive.

Elsewhere, major stories included the launch of Metro Bank – the first new bank on British high streets for over 150 years – and employees no longer being able to be forced out without a pay-off when they turn 65, under new rules set out by the Equality Act 2010.

But the biggest story at home came on May 11, when Labour’s 13-year tenure in Government came to a swift end. Despite an initial surge in support for Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats, with some opinion polls briefly ranking them as the largest party, it was David Cameron’s Conservatives who gained the most seats in the General Election. It wasn’t enough for an overall majority, however, so a youthful Cameron and Clegg joined forces for what initially looked like a happy and harmonious relationship. Bet that turned out well.


Where was it best to start a business in 2010?

Based on Informi’s number-crunching and taking into account a variety of factors, it was Aberdeen that perhaps surprisingly ranked #1 for the Best Place To Start A Small Business in 2010. It was followed by Ipswich and Brighton. This is largely due to a series of factors. Aberdeen ranked strongly in overall employment rate, for example, at a time when unemployment rates were relatively high (7.9% in 2010 compared to 3.9% today). Aberdeen outperformed many cities including London which ranked 38th.



The Top 10 Best Places To Start A Business In The UK 2010


  UK town/city
1. Aberdeen
2. Ipswich
3. Brighton
4. Reading
5. Cambridge
6. York
7. Exeter
8. Gloucester
9. Aldershot
10. Worthing


Tomorrow, we’ll be rewinding the clock to 2011 as we kick-off our countdown to discover where The Best Place To Start A Small Business across the decade has been.

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