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2022 sees a rise in start-ups in the South East... but also an increase in insolvencies

By Steve Charnock
4 May 2022

It's mixed news for business in the South East in early 2022 as the data from Q1 is in. It's been collated and analysed by the UK's insolvency and restructuring professionals trade association and proves quite revealing.

R3 has commissioned a report which makes for simultaneously hopeful and yet concerning reading, telling as it does how there's a distinct rise in the number of new businesses being established in the South East. The less pleasing news comes as the report also shows that insolvencies are on the rise.

The first quarter of of the year saw 17,840 new companies set up, with March seeing a 16.5% rise on February's numbers. Promising stuff.

However, there were also 851 insolvency-related activities in the South East over the first quarter. This number jumped from 202 in February to 532 in March, an increase of some 163%. Which is a worrying trend. Although not something that's hugely unexpected in a post-pandemic cost of living crisis.

Global credit report business Creditsafe provided the data to R3.

Garry Lee is the chair of R3’s Southern and Thames Valley region and an associate director in the recovery and restructuring services department at accountancy firm Smith & Williamson.

He says this about the news: "The increase in the number of start-up businesses is encouraging despite ongoing economic headwinds. The marked rise from February to March demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit that exists among the business community in the area."

"Although this trend is expected to continue into April and on into Q2, we may not see such an acceleration on a monthly basis if economic uncertainty rises and business confidence drops. It is also important to note that we saw an increase in insolvency related activity in the South East over the quarter."

"Directors and owners of any business in noticing signs of financial distress should seek advice as soon as possible from a qualified and regulated advisor. The majority of whom will not charge for an initial meeting. The more quickly expert advice is taken, the more options there will be for improving the situation the business is in."

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