THE total of new businesses being formed in Uttoxeter is at its lowest level in over a decade, new figures have revealed.
The Duport Business Confidence Report found just 61 new limited businesses were started in the town during 2012, compared with 116 in 2003. However, on a positive note the figures also found a sharp drop in company closures which peaked at 90 in 2009 and dropped to 34 this year.
Peter Valaitis, Duport managing director, said: &8220;The figures in our report for Uttoxeter are a clear symptom of the economic downturn and reflect the situation across much of the UK.&8221;
Despite the low level of new companies being formed, the report revealed more businesses have opened in Uttoxeter than have closed each year since 2003, except at the height of the economic crisis in 2009.
Helen Davies, the former chairman of Uttoxeter Traders&8217; Forum, said she believed the main reason for new businesses not opening in Uttoxeter was due to the empty shops being too big and decreased footfall.
Ms Davies, who is closing her store, said: &8220;The majority of empty stores are all owned by one landlord and they are all quite big and similarly priced. Maybe if they were smaller they may attract new businesses. Another thing is there is not a lot in Uttoxeter which is putting people off opening a business. They are letting in a lot of cheaper shops and the quality of the town is going down. A lot of people want quality shops.&8221;
Ms Davies added parking was another issue and maybe some big named stores would bring more people in. However, she did say help was available for people wanting to start their own business, Advanced Consultancy particularly offering advice on what is on offer. The Duport document showed company closures across Staffordshire between July and September was 704. This was an increase from 592 during the same period in 2011, meaning Staffordshire was outperformed by most other counties in Britain. The report analysed data from sources including Companies House, the Office for National Statistics and Ordnance Survey.