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GoDaddy backs micro businesses as virtual roadshow rolls into town

MILTON Keynes is among the fastest growing places for micro-business ‘births’ across Britain. 

Analysis by website giant GoDaddy found that even at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of new businesses in Milton Keynes grew by 29% – double the national average of 14%.

This builds on data from the past three years, where between 2017 and the end of 2019, Wellingborough placed top of the list of fastest growing areas across the country, with nearby Corby ranked third of all local regions. 

Yet micro-business owners in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes are increasingly concerned about the threats posed by the impact of potential new local lockdowns. Over a third say they would need government grants to continue to be operational while 28% say they would need support with employee salaries.

Also near the top of the urgent list for businesses are a reduced rate of VAT and a freeze on business rates.

A GoDaddy commissioned poll of micro-business owners found that a renewed COVID-19 outbreak is the biggest concern by some distance (38%), followed by a local lockdown (22%). 

Micro-businesses in Wellingborough, Corby and Milton Keynes have thrived in recent years, with just over 4,500 new businesses set up from 2017 to 2019. In Wellingborough alone, 2195 new micro-businesses were created during this time, according to official Office for National Statistics data. 

Despite the current challenges, optimism and resilience among entrepreneurs remain. 44% believe their business will surpass pre-COVID-19 revenue levels by end of 2020, and one fifth say that they have already surpassed these levels. 

In order to continue playing a role in the UK’s economic recovery, 27% of micro-business owners said they would require a better ability to sell their products or services online, while a quarter identified a stronger social media presence as essential to growth. 

GoDaddy has launched a national Back to Business Virtual Roadshow, which takes place in Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes tomorrow (Thursday) a 10am. 

Sakshi Anand, GoDaddy senior director UK and Ireland, said: “We know times are tough for everyone at the moment, and there is uncertainty around what the winter holds. But it is encouraging to see Northamptonshire being a hub for entrepreneurship.

“We need to listen to them and understand the support they require so they can continue to play their role in the economic recovery from Covid-19. That is why we are hosting one of our Back to Business Roadshows here.” 

The series of events are being held in partnership with the British Chambers of Commerce, and offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain advice, tips and support from other small businesses during these challenging times. 

Louise Wall, interim CEO of Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire Chambers of Commerce

Louise Wall, interim chief executive for Milton Keynes and Northamptonshire Chambers of Commerce, said: “Small and micro businesses are the lifeblood of prosperity. We are delighted to be working with GoDaddy to share knowledge and best practice with budding entrepreneurs, who will help drive prosperity and growth following the pandemic.”

One of the guest speakers at tomorrow’s event is local business woman Suzy Sanders, the founder of virtual PA and administrative service Alchemy Virtual Assistance. Suzy set up the business from a makeshift home office in Northamptonshire in 2016 and has achieved impressive growth year-on-year ever since.

I know just how daunting, yet exciting it can be to start your own business,” she said. “I am never going to shy away from the fact that being a business owner is hard but if we can adapt and survive a national lockdown, I have faith that this resilience would see us through potential further restrictions. 

Suzy Sanders

“It’s fantastic to see that Northamptonshire is a hub for entrepreneurship and I look forward to supporting future local entrepreneurs at the Back to Business Virtual Roadshow.”

Alongside Northamptonshire, GoDaddy analysis has identified five other entrepreneurial hubs around the country, which have all experienced unique bursts of micro-business activity. 

During the autumn, the GoDaddy Presents: Back to Business Virtual Roadshow will be going to the following areas – the top six most entrepreneurial areas in the country:        

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