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Theresa May
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A Decade In Business: Looking Back To 2017

We’re beginning to finish our countdown to find out the best places in the country to start a small business. Before we find out who has come out on top of the pile, however, we are rewinding back to every year over the past decade to remind ourselves of some of the biggest events – both inside and outside of the business world.

Today we look back to 2017, where the dust was still settling from the initial shock of the EU referendum result, and another election was underway…


2017 in focus: Theresa May’s General Election gamble backfires

Despite the fact a snap General Election backfired on Theresa May’s Conservatives, leaving them clinging to power by virtue of a ‘confidence and supply’ deal with the DUP, the year will mainly be remembered by a series of major terrorist attacks rocking both north and south England.

In London, terrorists used vehicles as weapons on both Westminster Bridge and London Bridge, leading to barriers being erected between road and pavement on these and other bridges across the Thames. But perhaps the most serious incident of all took place in Manchester, where a suicide bomber killed 22 mainly young people attending an Ariana Grande concert.

In other news, 2017 was a good year for property developers with plans announced for 17 new towns in the English countryside, after ministers admitted that the housing market was ‘broken’. Computers across the UK were hit by a major cyber attack, while an IT failure on 27 May caused severe disruption to British Airways flights across the world.

Meanwhile, the fallout from the EU referendum result begins with the European Banking Authority announcing it is to move from London to Paris; while the European Medicines Agency chooses Amsterdam as its new home, again moving from the English capital.


Where was it best to start a business in 2017?

Aberdeen and Edinburgh had a good year in 2017, both appearing high up the overall list in part because of strong results for having a well-skilled workforce. Nearly 58% of the working-age population in Edinburgh had a qualification at least at NVQ Level 4, while this was also true for just under 52% of those living in Aberdeen. Only university cities Oxford and Cambridge outperformed the two Scottish locations.

Aldershot, Reading, and Bristol were among the other towns and cities that appeared in the top 10 of our Best Place To Start A Small Business research in 2017.



The Top 10 Best Places To Start A Business In The UK 2017

(change from last year’s position in brackets)

  UK town/city
1. Aberdeen (+36)
2. Newport (+59)
3. Edinburgh (+6)
4. Aldershot (+7)
5. Preston (+9)
6. Reading (-4)
7. Milton Keynes (+13)
8. Northampton (-7)
9. Warrington (+18)
10. Bristol (-2)


Tomorrow we will be focusing back on last year – 2018 – before we reveal our full list of the best towns and cities to start a small business across the whole decade. The waiting is nearly over!

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