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Portsmouth is one of the top cities for starting a business in the UK

January 4, 2021

An article in the News recently reported that Portsmouth is one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the UK – with hundreds of companies starting up in PO postcodes.

Two recent independent studies have highlighted Portsmouth as a prosperous place to set up business.

Research from finance firm Capital on Tap, which studied active records from Companies House, found 375,670 new businesses were registered in the UK – with 1,970 in the Portsmouth area – since lockdown began on March 23.

Despite the challenging conditions brought about by the pandemic, in Portsmouth 887 companies were listed, 461 in Havant, 442 in Fareham and 180 in Gosport.

Meanwhile, Instant Offices’ latest Entrepreneurial Index ranked Portsmouth as the most entrepreneurial city in 2020 for its high concentration of entrepreneurial activity.

The news was welcomed by Portsmouth City Council’s cabinet member for culture, leisure and economic development Steve Pitt.

He said: ‘This is great news to receive, and I’m not surprised.

‘The people of Portsmouth have always been particularly resilient and creative and as a city we have been working hard to nurture and encourage that entrepreneurial spirit.

‘Our economic growth team helps support new businesses at every turn, by finding them space in the city to work or trade, putting on free start-up sessions, match-funding new business ideas through our Crowdfunder UK partnership, and helping with grants at this difficult trading time.

‘We are particularly proud of our partnership with the Shaping Portsmouth family and our joint work on Future Together, making sure that we are supporting businesses and individuals to not just survive but thrive.

‘You could be the next Portsmouth success story. If you’ve got an idea for a new business, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team and get started.’

How the council has helped

We launched Crowdfund Portsmouth in January 2020, in partnership with Shaping Portsmouth, to help increase start-ups and business growth. In early March, we adjusted the Crowdfund Portsmouth match funding criteria to offer a new scheme called “Pay It Forward”, to ensure that our business community who had been adversely affected by COVID-19 had the help they needed, particularly those who have not been able to access government funding packages. We were one of the first four councils in the country to launch such a scheme. The scheme aims to help small eligible businesses to access immediate alternative revenue stream, and a community of business support.  This scheme has attracted interest from 136 businesses and the council pledged £43,230 which raised a further £125,317, plus attracted additional funding from external sources of £35,500.

We also own and manage three business and enterprise centres offering offices, storage and light industrial units to start-up companies and small businesses. There are currently 124 businesses across the centres – Victory Business Centre, Challenge Enterprise Centre and Portsmouth Enterprise Centre.

Through the our dedicated business support line, which launched in March, 2,300 business and residents have been helped. To get in touch call (023) 9284 1074.

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