Royal Mail looked at the lockdown period from March to July 2020 and found that 315,000 companies were incorporated during this time – a 7 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2019, showing a robust growth of new businesses in the UK during the first COVID lockdown period.
London postcodes scored the highest both in terms of the raw number of new businesses set up over the course of the lockdown measures as well as looking at new businesses per head of the population.
Of the ten postcodes to see the highest numbers of new businesses, eight of these were in the Greater London area.
However, the results are much less London-centric when considering the year-on-year percentage change in the number of new businesses. When doing this, eight of the top ten highest figures are outside the capital.
Worcester, Leicester and Manchester experienced marked growth in new business creation. The highest percentage change in the number of business incorporations took place in the WR9 postcode (in Worcester), which saw growth of over 820 per cent when comparing March – July 2020 with the same period in 2019.
This was followed by the B18 (in Birmingham) and LS10 (in Leeds), which saw growth rates of 580 per cent and 440 per cent, respectively.
Urban Vs. Regional Business Growth
Most of the new business creation between March – July 2020 took place in urban areas. Just over 11 per cent of new incorporations were registered in rural locations in England and Wales.
Interestingly, the number of new incorporations in hamlets and isolated dwellings – the smallest unit of analysis – exceeded that of new corporations in villages, which are deemed to be slightly larger.
In Scotland, new business creation was also driven by urban areas. However, compared to England and Wales, Scotland experienced a greater proportion of incorporations taking place in rural locations – 15 per cent of incorporations took place in rural areas. Data on settlement types are not available for Northern Ireland.
“The ecommerce sector has experienced a real boom and at Royal Mail we understand the importance of the postal service in keeping the UK connected at this time,” said Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail
There has been a boom in new ecommerce businesses as UK entrepreneurs capitalise on consumers’ shift to online shopping. Nearly 16,000 businesses falling into this category were created between March and July 2020.