1500 Fife business closures revealed in new data

More than 1500 businesses in Fife shut their doors for the last time in 2021 as closures across the UK reached their highest level since 2017, new figures show.
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Business leadership group the Institute of Directors said that, while businesses open and close all the time, the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic "complicated" the business landscape across the country.

Office for National Statistics figures show 1,510 business closed in 2021 – up from 1,145 in 2020.

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It was also up from 1,325 in 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

The latest data reveals the extent of business closures in FifeThe latest data reveals the extent of business closures in Fife
The latest data reveals the extent of business closures in Fife

Nationally, 327,000 businesses closed in 2021 – a 9% increase on the year before and the highest number since 2017.

Across the country, 360,000 businesses began trading last year – a 9% increase on the 333,000 the year before. Of these, 1,100 were in Fife.

It meant a total of 10,070 businesses were active in the area in 2021 – down from 10,155 the year before.

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Kitty Ussher, chief economist at the IoD, said: "The picture is then complicated by the impact of the pandemic, which not only led to a temporary increase in unemployment and so increased the number of people looking for freelance work, but also caused a change in consumer spending patterns that affected different parts of the economy in different ways.

In Fife, there were around 20 high-growth businesses in the area – meaning the annualised growth in the number of employees of the business over the last three years is at least 20% – and around 1,050 enterprises employed 10 or more staff.