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Business size


The data used here, reported by the Office for National Statistics, is based on a snapshot of the Inter-Departmental Business Register (IDBR).

The tables and charts above show data for business size. Slide 1 shows the number and proportion of businesses by main employment size band for various geographies (2021). Slide 2 shows the number and proportion of businesses by various turnover size bands (2021). Right click on either of the charts to select and view the underlying data in table format.

About the data

As is the case nationally, Somerset is a predominantly small business economy. In 2021, 99.78% of businesses in Somerset employed fewer than 250 employees, with 90.14% of those employing fewer than 10 people, 8.3% employing 10-49 people, and 1.3% employing 50-249 people. These figures are broadly in line with those seen nationally. The main difference is the marginally greater proportion of medium (50-249) and large (250+) businesses at the national level in comparison to Somerset.

At the lower-tier local authority level within Somerset the picture of a predominantly small business economy remains. Somerset West and Taunton has the largest proportion of micro businesses employing fewer than 10 people (91.2%) and where the largest conurbation and county town of Taunton is situated, a greater proportion of large businesses employing over 250 (0.3%).

Again, as is the case nationally, Somerset is also a predominantly small business economy in turnover terms, with 71.9% of businesses having an annual turnover less than £200,000, and 85.2% having a turnover less than £500,000.

However, at 18.8%, Somerset does have a greater proportion of businesses in the smallest turnover size band (less than £50,000) than is the case regionally (17.6%) and nationally (15.7%). At the district level, Somerset West and Taunton has the largest proportion (19.9%) of businesses in the smallest turnover size band, whilst Mendip has the smallest (17.5%).

Turnovers exceeding £1million there is a more notable divergence between Somerset and the UK in relative terms, where nationally there is a greater proportion of businesses within the highest turnover bands.

Indeed, 7.6% of Somerset businesses have annual turnovers exceeding £1million compared to 9.5% for the UK, and 0.8% of Somerset businesses have turnovers more than £10million compared to 1.3% for the UK. Whilst these might not seem like big differences, we must bear in mind that there are a far fewer businesses within these higher turnover bands and that they typically make a disproportionate contribution to economic output.

Source: ONS, NOMIS, UK Business Counts 2021