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Birmingham Storms Ahead as the UK's Heart of Small Business

4th April 2019

Photograph of Birmingham Storms Ahead as the UK's  Heart of Small Business

Small Business Index 2019 reveals the best European cities for enterprise.

Valencia, Spain, ranks first as the small business capital of Europe, with an abundance of cafes, bars, and restaurants

Birmingham, England, ranks top for the UK, outperforming London due to its availability of rent and retail space at a more reasonable price

Glasgow, Scotland, ranks second for the UK, tailing behind Birmingham due to its low density of small businesses per capita

Berlin, Germany, April 04th 2019 - Mobile payments platform SumUp have released the Small Business Index 2019 to uncover the status quo of small businesses across Europe. The study reveals how high levels of external support and investment for small enterprise cannot offset the cost of rising rent and real estate across Europe's major metropolises. Small businesses are the lifeblood of communities across Europe, and this is certainly the case for Birmingham, the UK's second-most populous city.

The Small Businesses Index 2019 analyses the 100 most populous cities across Europe, and ranks them according to four criteria: the amount and type of Small Businesses, Density, Real Estate factors, and various forms of External Support. While Spanish cities Valencia and Madrid rank first and second place, and Germany steals nine of the top thirty places in the ranking, the UK secures multiple positions thanks to Glasgow’s availability of rental spaces, London’s sheer volume of enterprise, and Manchester’s impressive score for External support, which involves factors such as financial measures, initiative of the population, and subsidies supporting small businesses.

Ranking 10th place overall and first place for the UK, Birmingham offers comparatively cheap rent and alongside high levels of investment. In 2018, the Birmingham City Council won a prestigious award from the Federation of Small Businesses commending its work to stimulate the growth of SMEs across the city, and it’s clearly well-deserved. Glasgow tails narrowly behind; the most populous Scottish city ranks just behind Birmingham due to its low density of small businesses per capita. Entrepreneurs looking to attract new markets would be wise to head to this northern haven for their next venture.

"Small businesses support local people and protect the culture and authenticity of a city. At SumUp, we know it takes resilience and drive to overcome market competition. Our quick and easy payment methods allow growing UK enterprises to rival larger corporations when it comes to card payments" says Marc Alexander Christ, Co-Founder of SumUp.

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