New businesses most likely to thrive in Horsham

East Street, Horsham
East Street, Horsham

New businesses are least likely to set up shop in Horsham but more likely to thrive there, a report has shown.

At a West Sussex County Council’s performance & finance committee meeting, members were told that, while Crawley was the town of choice for start-up firms, only 42.5 per cent of them were still around five years later.

While Horsham attracted far fewer new businesses, almost half were still trading when their Crawley counterparts had folded.

Peter Catchpole (Con, Holbrook) asked why so many fledgling firms did not survive and suggested that more could be done to support them.

He said: “Here’s a chance for business-to-business connectivity to actually share learning – why did I survive, how did I do it?”

Mr Catchpole was told that no ‘concrete evidence’ was available to answer the question, though there were ‘potential issues around cash flow’ with any new business.

Asking for the matter to be looked in to, he added: “This seems to be quite a vital area for the long-term survival of new ideas, clever entrepreneurs who we can attract in – and then offer even more interesting stuff about why this group survived and that one didn’t, and give some help.”

Looking at the type of companies which started up between 2015 and 2017, the majority were admin/support and information/communication businesses.

Health firms have proved the most enduring over the years, with almost two-thirds thriving.

When it came to pay rates, there was a huge difference in earnings across the county.

People living in Arun earned the least, at an average £507.20 per week, with Horsham residents earning the most, an average £649.80 per week.

Crawley was the only part of West Sussex where people working in the area earned more than those living there – £632.80 per week compared to £558.70 per week.