Majority of new Dundee businesses close within four years

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Alison Henderson, chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, was surprised at the city's poor business survival rates.

Dundee has one of the poorest business survival rates in Scotland with the majority of new companies closing their doors within four years.

New Government statistics show that of 335 new enterprises started in Dundee in 2011 only 160 made it to their fourth year.

Just 125 of these companies made it to their fifth birthday, a rate of 37.3%.

This is the second lowest five year survival rate of any local authority area in Scotland, with only Clackmannanshire recording a slightly lower level of 37%. The Scottish average is 45.6%.

In Angus 50% of new companies are still active after five years. In Fife the rate is 45.4% and in Perth and Kinross it is 42.3%.

Dundee City Council’s convener of city development Lynne Short called on businesses experiencing problems in Dundee to seek help.

She said: “The microeconomy in Dundee is really important and creates so much in the city.

“If business owners are having problems and thinking they could be the next statistic then they must pick up to phone to agencies that are there to assist businesses like Business Gateway or the Chamber of Commerce. I am also happy to help anyone.

“Small businesses help the circular economy – money given to small businesses is more likely to be kept in the local economy.”

Alison Henderson, the chief executive of Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce, said she was surprised at the high business failure rate in Dundee.

She said: “The Chamber works a lot with businesses that are active and thriving. Certainly among the 600 or so businesses we represent there is very little business failure.

“There are always going to be businesses that fail – that’s a part of business life.

“But there are lots of interventions that exist in the city to support business in their survival.

“The Chamber can help them market themselves and connect with other businesses.

“We’ve got a fully funded business mentoring programme that links businesses with business people to share their expertise. It can help find problems and the solutions to it.”

The Office for National Statistics show that between 2010 and 2016 there was a 14% increase in the number of active businesses in Dundee – rising from 3,300 to 3,765.

Over the six years, Angus had an 11% increase, Perth and Kinross had an 8% rise and Fife had a 15% jump.

Fife saw a 5.3% increase in the number of active companies in the county last year. The number of businesses operating increased by 515 from 9,550 to 10,065.