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A Decade In Business: Looking Back To 2012

This year, Informi is updating its Best Place To Start A Small Business research to look back on the whole decade that we are on the verge of completing.

And few years stand out more than 2012 – in particular, a glorious summer for the UK. But how did the small business world fare?


2012 in focus: London hosts Olympic Games

The summer of 2012 was ushered in with a four-day bank holiday weekend to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. Although the weather let Her Majesty down, thousands nonetheless turned out to celebrate a pageant of more than 1,000 boats on the River Thames, followed by a concert at Buckingham Palace.

But the nation was to be even more captivated in August. London became the first city to host the Olympic Games for a third time, and the hosts didn’t disappoint, finishing third in the overall medal table with 29 gold medals – six of which were won on 5 August, a day since christened ‘Super Saturday’.

The environment remained unfriendly for businesses, however. Figures released in April showed that the UK economy had failed to avoid the much-feared ‘double-dip’ recession, while Barclays was fined £290 million in June after trying to manipulate the Libor inter-bank lending rate. Retail chain Comet fell into administration later in the year.

However, there was some positive news for businesses as well. Britain launched its first 4G mobile network in October, with 11 major cities afforded high-speed mobile data services. Sales of new British cars reached a post-recession high, while the Shard – Europe’s tallest building – opened in July complete with 27 floors of office space.


Where was it best to start a business in 2012?

York was top of our research for 2012. The North Yorkshire city, which only has a population around the 200,000 mark, narrowly saw off Brighton and Reading to claim the crown in the Diamond Jubilee year.

Its main reasons for success were down to having a high employment rate (6th best of the 63 towns and cities studied), a highly-skilled workforce (8th) and low pollution levels (17th).



The Top 10 Best Places To Start A Business In The UK 2012

(change from last year’s position in brackets)

  UK town/city
1. York (+12)
2. Brighton (+3)
3. Reading (0)
4. Aberdeen (-3)
5. Worthing (+1)
6. Exeter (+2)
7. London (+7)
8. Bournemouth (+2)
9. Edinburgh (0)
10. Warrington (+6)


Keep an eye on our blog page as we continue to look back on the past decade, ahead of revealing where has been the Best Place To Start A Small Business during the 2010s. Next up – 2013.

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