Could a recent influx of small businesses be responsible for Teesside’s plummeting unemployment rates?

IN RECENT years, Teesside has seen a rise in the number of small businesses operating throughout the region.

Middlesbrough, having seen the second highest growth in England for businesses within it, is one of the prime locations for new small businesses.

Innovation projects such as the one on Baker Street and that which is planned for Bedford Street have seen the birth of at least fifteen new businesses.

HOME TO MANY SMALL BUSINESSES - Baker Street has opened up many employment opportunities.

HOME TO MANY SMALL BUSINESSES – Baker Street has opened up many employment opportunities.

With the most recent figures showing unemployment to have fallen in Teesside for two months in a row, small businesses in the area may be major contributors to this.

Lisa Williams, a Project Support Officer at Middlesbrough Council’s Economic Development team, thinks the introduction of new small businesses has made a difference.

She said: “The regeneration of Baker Street has created jobs in Middlesbrough by offering start-up opportunities to new businesses.

“We’ve already been inundated with Expression of Interests for Bedford Street, which the demand has exceeded supply, so it will continue to open up more job opportunities here in Middlesbrough.

“Bedford House is going to be refurbished into office space, therefore there will be additional opportunities for office space for small businesses too.”

Having seen the success of such innovation projects and the growing strength of the small business market in the area, Middlesbrough Council are heavily invested in them.

Lisa said: “Middlesbrough Council continues to support small businesses by being a point of contact to encourage business growth.

“In terms of Baker and Bedford Street, the Council have worked closely with landlords in order to offer support initiatives to assist in the business start-up and bring those empty properties back in to use.”

Songbird Bakery, a local specialist cake and cupcake business based in the Teesside area, believe the council’s help will enable them to create employment opportunities in the future.

EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE - Shelley Tyreman, one of the owners of Songbird Bakery.

EXCITED ABOUT THE FUTURE – Shelley Tyreman, one of the owners of Songbird Bakery.

The business, owned by Shelley Tyreman and Claire Philpott, has only been open for a year and a half.

They said: “The Songbird Bakery journey started just under 18 months ago, producing a range of bespoke designed cupcakes at local craft and vintage fairs organised by Middlesbrough and Stockton councils.

“The council’s help in the last year has been instrumental in our growth as a business.

“The council’s support of our continuing growth means that we would be able to expand our business creating job opportunities within the Teesside area.”

During such a positive time for businesses in the Teesside area, the ladies are looking forward to the future.

They added: “We are really excited to continue the growth of our business within our local community.”

from Tside