AN AVERAGE of 47 per cent of businesses in Cumbria survive more than five years according to the Cumbrian Intelligence Observatory.

However this was still higher than the national average, with 42 per cent of businesses in England surviving more than five years.

Suzanne Caldwell, managing director at the Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, said that there are a number of reasons why business survival rates are generally low, but stressed that people looking to start up should reap the advice they have to hand first.

She said: “There’s a whole myriad of reasons why people stop running a business and actually there are a lot of people who are serial entrepreneurs who could be on their fifth business. There are loads of other things hidden within the statistics.

“The top and bottom of it is that a whole lot of businesses don’t make it past five years, and a whole load of businesses don’t even make it past one year.

“I would really encourage people to take advantage of the support that is out there, and I would also encourage people to really explore the process of starting a business properly before they get into it.”

On whether there were some positives to starting a business in a rural area like Cumbria, Ms Caldwell said there were definite pros and cons.

She added: “In a rural area, there’s less of a market, but the flip side of that is that people know each other more, they’re more likely to be supportive of each other.

“We do tend to have less of a churn of businesses in Cumbria. There are fewer people starting up but fewer failings as well.”

The effects of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic has hit the local economy hard, but Ms Caldwell said that there are still businesses in Cumbria holding firm.

She said: “What we’re seeing is even if people have to put their businesses on a bit of a break, they’re not closing them. Most people we talk to have got every intention of keeping them going.”

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