Region’s firms are well placed for real successes in business

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BUSINESSES in West Suffolk are well placed for success, according to a new report.

Through research commissioned by the BBC, data analysts Experian found St Edmundsbury and Forest Heath are the two top places in the country for ‘high growth business champions’.

Its report says young, small companies have the highest probability of becoming a champion - as do firms with directors showing ‘entrepreneurial skill, appetite for business risk and real international outlook’ - and that creating the right condition for these businesses ‘could prove key to rebalancing the economy’.

Cllr Sara Mildmay-White, deputy leader of St Edmundsbury Borough Council, said: “Our West Suffolk location is ideal because we are very close to Cambridge. When businesses are looking to locate near to this area, or moving out of Cambridge because it doesn’t have the capacity, we’ve got more affordable overheads and homes for employees.”

Cllr James Waters, leader of Forest Heath District Council, said: “Small businesses are terrifically important for the national as well as the local economy because that’s where the jobs growth will be coming from in the future.

“We make sure we talk their language and understand how we can best use our resources to support them.”

Mark Cordell, chief executive of Bid4Bury, said: “It’s great to hear that, despite the current recession, small businesses in the Bury area are performing so well when compared with their peers nationally. Personally, I’m not surprised as a number of the independent businesses in Bury town centre that appear to be innovative and successful are relatively new.”

The report paints a positive picture for Suffolk generally, with insolvency rates in the county below the national average and a number of new businesses having opened up during 2010 to 2012.

Mid Suffolk saw the biggest increase of anywhere in Suffolk, with 271 new companies, bringing its total to 5,725, followed by Babergh which increased by 258, up to 5,460 businesses.

Over the same period, Forest Heath saw an increase of 103, up to 3,055, and St Edmundsbury saw a rise of 175, up to 5,907 businesses.