About the data
As is the case nationally, Somerset is a predominantly small business economy. In 2022, 99.76% of businesses in Somerset employed fewer than 250 employees, with 90.02% of those employing fewer than 10 people, 8.5% 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 (90.8%) 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 73.4% of businesses having an annual turnover less than £200,000, and 85.8% having a turnover less than £500,000.
However, at 20.2%, Somerset does have a greater proportion of businesses in the smallest turnover size band (less than £50,000) than is the case regionally (18.8%) and nationally (17.6%). At the district level, Somerset West and Taunton has the largest proportion (21.7%) of businesses in the smallest turnover size band, whilst Mendip has the smallest (18.7%).
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 9.1% for the UK, and 0.7% of Somerset businesses have turnovers more than £10million compared to 1.2% 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 2022