Start-ups are getting going in the south east in 2022 - but insolvencies are on the rise too

INSOLVENCY experts have said that there was good news and bad news for the south east in the first three months of this year.

By Tom Morton
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 5:19 pm

New businesses in Hampshire were among nearly 18,000 start-ups created across the south east in the first quarter of 2022.

Analysis by insolvency and restructuring trade body R3 of data provided by Creditsafe shows there were a total of 17,840 firms launched in January, February and March.

The figures for the south east region revealed the number of newly-established firms jumped as the quarter progressed with 5,510 in January, 5,695 in February and 6,635 in March.

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There were 940 more businesses created in March compared with February – a rise of 16.5 per cent.

And the quarterly total of 17,840 made the region the third most active in the UK outside London, behind East Anglia (21,850) and the North West (19,502).

However, there were also 851 insolvency-related activities in the South East over the first quarter – again the third highest in the UK outside of London.

On a monthly basis, this jumped from 202 in February to 532 in March – an increase of 163 per cent.

Garry Lee, chair of R3’s Southern and Thames Valley region, including Hampshire, said: ‘The increase in the number of start-up businesses is encouraging despite ongoing economic headwinds.

‘The marked rise from February to March demonstrates the entrepreneurial spirit that exists among the business community in the area.

‘Although this trend is expected to continue into April and on into Q2, we may not see such an acceleration on a monthly basis if economic uncertainty rises and business confidence drops.’

Garry, who is an associate director in the recovery and restructuring services department at accountancy firm Smith & Williamson, added: ‘It is also important to note that we saw an increase in insolvency related activity in the South East over the quarter.

‘On a month-on-month basis this increased considerably from February to March, mirroring a nationwide trend.

‘Directors and owners of any business in Hampshire noticing signs of financial distress should seek advice as soon as possible from a qualified and regulated advisor. The majority of whom will not charge for an initial meeting.

‘The more quickly expert advice is taken, the more options there will be for improving the situation the business is in.’

The data showed that there were 197,102 new businesses in the UK in the first quarter of 2022.

There were 9,056 insolvency related activities nationwide, including liquidator appointments, administrations and creditors’ meetings.

Creditsafe is a multinational business intelligence expert with services including company credit scores and credit report information.

Business in the South and Thames Valley region were among those included in the new data.

R3’s Southern & Thames Valley region includes Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and Berkshire.