The number of new business start-ups in Wales is outperforming all other areas of the UK with an increase of 31% in quarter one of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.
The effects of Covid-19 and the initial post-Brexit trade agreement period on the Welsh economy have been tracked as part of Economic Intelligence Wales’ (EIW) annual report on the performance of the Welsh economy in 2020/21. The report highlights that:
- In Q1 2021 business starts in Wales are up 31 % on Q1 2020 (14% in UK) and business closures are down 1% in the same period compared to an increase of 7% across the UK.
- The value of Welsh exports in the year to Q1 2021 dropped by 27% while imports decreased by 25%, the highest of all UK countries.
- The proportion of Welsh SMEs using finance which were concerned about their ability to repay debt, increased from 24% in Q3 2020 (21% for UK SMEs) to 30% in Q4 2020 (24% for UK SMEs).
- The Development Bank of Wales’ interventions have been crucial during the Covid-19 crisis. Combining its business as usual investment levels with the Covid-19 Wales Business Loan Scheme support meant that every £1m of investment generated an estimated £4.7m of Welsh GVA
The Economic Intelligence Wales also report includes the Bank of England’s projection that UK GDP will rise by 7.25% in 2021, an improved forecast compared to the January 2021 prediction of 5% but the latest available quarterly GDP estimates for Wales for Q3 2020, demonstrate a 14.4% quarterly increase.
Good news indeed for the Welsh business sector – if you are looking to secure funding for growth, talk to our Corporate Finance team for advice on business plans, financial forecasts, feasibility studies and Enterprise Investment Schemes.