Town in top 50 for home businessesBy Linda Fort
October 20, 2008
Reading is one of the top 50 towns in the country where running a business from your home is still flourishing despite the economic downturn.
The borough was ranked 32nd out of 50 after London and Leicester in first and second places.
The ranking was reported by Enterprise Nation, itself a home business, to mark the start of Small Business Week 2008 this week.
The report revealed home businesses are booming despite the economic crisis.
Two thirds expect to increase turnover in the next six months, while more than half are developing new products and services.
The report even suggests the current economic climate is acting as a spur to growth as more people seek a new income at minimal cost.
A spare room or bedroom are the most common locations for a home office, but nearly one in five people use the garage or a garden shed.
About half the businesses based at home reported spending between £500 and £1,000 a year on IT.
Across the UK there are now 2.5 million such enterprises – a 16 per cent increase on 12 months ago.
Improved broadband is one of the key developments for driving growth.
The report revealed 82 per cent of home business owners believed technology had been an important factor in allowing them to start and grow the business from home.
Backing Small Business Week, South East regional director for BT Mike Galvin said: “The growth of home businesses despite the economic downturn is a major business success story for the South East.
"Technology, such as broadband, has made it more cost effective and easier than ever before to start a business in your home.”
The report’s recommendations include introducing new initiatives to support home businesses, promoting events, networks and clubs dedicated to home businesses and changing attitudes to growth to take more account of turnover, rather than a headcount.
Founder of Enterprise Nation and author of the report Emma Jones said: “Our 2008 report reveals thousands more people becoming their own boss and earning a living from the comfort of home.
“A flourishing home business sector is good news for the UK economy, environment and society and we’re confident it will continue to prosper in the months ahead.”
The report is available at www.enterprisenation.com.