Glasgow ranks second among Scotland's hotspots for business success

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Glasgow City is the second-best area in Scotland to start a business, according to a new study.

MRP software for small manufacturers MRPeasy analysed data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) on business openings and closures in each UK local authority between 2022 and 2024. The figures were totalled for each area and ranked based on the highest ratio of openings to closures.

Approximately 724,625 businesses opened in the UK from 2022 to 2024, while 800,165 closed during this time. On average, for every 10 businesses that open nationwide, 11 close down. England is the best nation in the UK to launch a business, with a slightly better ratio of openings to closures (0.912:1), while Northern Ireland ranks as the worst (0.808:1). Scotland and Wales have a ratio of 0.887:1 and 0.874:1, respectively.

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Glasgow City ranked second among Scotland's best areas to launch a business. With larger figures than anywhere else nationwide, Glasgow has the second-highest ratio of business openings to closures. Exactly 6,495 new businesses have opened their doors in the last two years, while 6,380 have closed, meaning the area ranks slightly behind Clackmannanshire with a ratio of 1.018:1. Exactly 745 new businesses have been established in the region during the first quarter of 2024, and 695 existing companies have shut down.

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Clackmannanshire topped the study as the best area in Scotland to launch a business. Over the last two years, 310 new companies have opened in the area, an increase from the 300 closures recorded during the same period. With the ratio of openings to closures at 1.033:1, business owners in Clackmannanshire are more likely to succeed than any other place in Scotland. Around 32 new businesses are formed in the area for every 31 business closures recorded.

Midlothian ranks third in the list of the top Scottish areas to start a business, with a ratio of 1.008:1. Between Q1 of 2022 and Q1 of 2024, exactly 670 new businesses were registered in Midlothian, while 665 have officially closed. January, February, and March of 2023 proved to be the best months for businesses in Midlothian, with reports of 75 openings and 65 closures at a rate of 1.154:1.

West Lothian is the fourth best area in Scotland to launch a business and the final location with a higher rate of openings than closures. From 2022 to 2024, the area saw 1,355 new businesses open and 1,350 closed, with the ratio of openings to closures at 1.004:1.

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North Lanarkshire rounds out the five best areas in Scotland to launch a business, with a ratio of openings to closures of 0.990:1. Business openings totalled 2,435, while closures sat at 2,460. Q3 2023 was the best period for businesses, with 270 new ventures launching and only 205 closing, securing a higher rate of 1.317:1.

West Dunbartonshire ranked sixth among Scotland’s best areas to establish a business. Since 2022, 540 businesses have opened in West Dunbartonshire, while 555 have closed. The ratio of openings to closures is 0.973.

The City of Edinburgh ranked seventh with a ratio of openings to closures of 0.947:1 between 2022 and 2024. Approximately 4,960 businesses were established, and 5,235 closed during this period. July, August, and September of 2024 have been the best periods for businesses in the area, with 570 and 470 openings and closures registered, respectively, or 1.213:1.

Businesses in the South Lanarkshire council area reside in Scotland's eighth-best region for launching a business. Over the last two years, 2,500 companies have opened in the area, and 2,650 closures have been recorded, at a ratio of 0.943 openings for every closure. During Q3 of 2023, 290 businesses opened and 235 closed, resulting in a higher ratio of 1.234 compared to the average since 2022.

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East Renfrewshire places ninth in the study of Scotland’s best spots to start a business. Exactly 725 new businesses have been set up in East Renfrewshire since 2022. In contrast, 770 businesses shut down during the same period, giving the area a ratio of 0.942:1.

Renfrewshire is the final area to be named among Scotland's best places to start a business. Business openings have reached 1,310 over the last two years, 95 more than the total closures within the same period (1,405). The ratio of openings to closures is 0.932, one of the highest in the nation.

Aberdeen City is the worst area in Scotland to start a business, with closures almost twice as common compared to openings in the region, at a ratio of 0.654:1.

Mike Lurye, Director of Business Development at MRPeasy, commented on the study: “England is the best nation in the UK to start a business (0.912:1), having a higher ratio of openings to closures than Scotland (0.887:1), Wales (0.874:1), and Northern Ireland (0.808:1).

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“Just 9.39% of all UK local authorities have a higher rate of business openings than business closures in the last two years. Two areas of London and three spots in the East of England rank among the 10 best areas to start a business. Meanwhile, Clackmannanshire was Scotland’s highest-placed area in the study, at 21st, and Belfast was top in Northern Ireland, taking 29th spot.

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