Middle market firms contributing 15 per cent of UK turnover

Medium-sized businesses account for less than one per cent of the total UK business population but contribute 15 per cent of turnover, new official figures show.

The latest business population estimates published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy reveal there were a record 5.7m private sector businesses at the start of 2017, of which just 34,000 - or 0.6 per cent of the total - are classed as medium-sized, employing between 50 and 250 people.

Although these middle market businesses make up just a fraction of the overall business population, they are responsible for 12 per cent of total UK employment and contribute 15 per cent of overall turnover.

The figures show that since 2000, the number of medium-sized employers has grown by 26 per cent, higher than either small employing businesses or large businesses.

Commenting on the figures, Simon Hart, a partner at audit, tax and consulting firm RSM said:

‘These figures show quite clearly that middle market businesses punch well above their weight when it comes to contributing to the UK economy.

‘However, because of the relatively small number of medium-sized companies, their needs are often overlooked by government in favour of small or large businesses. This has been particularly notable, for example, in the tax system, although efforts are now underway to cater more specifically for the needs of this business population.

‘As we approach a critical time in the Brexit negotiations, the government should make a point of taking on board the concerns of middle market businesses who in some respects may be more exposed than others to the practical and regulatory challenges that might result.

‘It is also important, following the publication this week of the Industrial Strategy which places a strong emphasis on productivity improvement, that policymakers ensure that productivity support is provided to middle market businesses as well as the large corporate population.’