Business survival and retention

The business survival rate is the percentage of businesses started which are still in operation 5 years later. The data is taken from the Business Demography data set from Office for National Statistics (ONS) which gives, numbers of ‘births’, ‘deaths’and survivals of businesses in the UK, figures are available down to local authority level. 
We aim to be top quartile for statistical neighbours by 2022.

March 2020 performance

The Business Demography data set gives the survival rates of those businesses previously 'started' and includes 5 year survival rates of those businesses that started in 2013. The latest Business Demography data set was released in November 2019. The five year survival rates of business start up in 2013 in West Sussex is slightly lower than the 5 year survival rates for those businesses started up in 2012. However West Sussex 5 year survival rates at 46.1 is higher than for England (42.5) and for the South East region (44.6). 
West Sussex compared with its statistical neighbours has a low survival rate and lies in the second to lowest quartile. Adur and Arun have the highest 5 year survival rates in West Sussex, Crawley has the lowest survival rate, despite having the highest start-up rate, and has one of the lowest survival rates compared to other authorities in the South East.
The County Council’s Economic Growth Plan 2018-2023 focuses on where the County Council is best able to support and address economic challenges and opportunities. A range of activities are in flight or in the pipeline, including some that will help to address business retention and survival. These include the:
  • launch of the Hot House programme, a significant ERDF funded support programme for businesses led by the University of Chichester, with the County Council and the Districts and Boroughs key partners.  It will provide start-up support to encourage innovation, productivity and growth.  Economic Growth priorities have directly influenced the programme which will provide among other things, a legacy for the SPARK project – an Interreg funded project to encourage and support social enterprises to develop and deliver sustainable and high-impact innovations leading to increased growth. This was achieved through the creation of tools and the implementation of various complementary support activities; targeted support for older entrepreneurs and a focus on creative digital enterprise;
  • the development of Horsham Enterprise Park, a new, high quality employment floorspace for businesses, through the redevelopment of the former Novartis site.  Outline planning permission has now been secured for commercial and residential development.  The development will see up to 25,000 sq.m. of employment space and an enterprise hub for business start-ups entrepreneurs, micro and small businesses;
  • through the various Growth Deals with the Districts and Boroughs;
  • and activities to support businesses to survive and grow through adopting new digital technologies and services, linked to the county’s broader investment in digital infrastructure.