By Morgan Johnson
The number of small businesses in Coventry has grown by 4.63% since 2019 statistics show and for some, lockdown has been the root cause of business start-ups.
Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 4,562 new businesses were registered in Coventry at the start of the financial year.
In fact, the ONS report released in September shows most regions in the UK have seen an increase in businesses created since 2018 – in the West Midlands it is an increase of 8.1%.
Coventry fashion buyer, Bethan Frost, 23, set up her small business making wax melts in November 2020 during the UK’s second lockdown and has seen the Betsy Wax Company grow since.
Bethan said: “I decided to make it into a business when I moved into my first home as I am now obsessed with home fragrances but couldn’t always find the scents I liked, so I started making my own.
“I launched at the end of last year so I’m still super new.
“Lockdown has definitely helped my business as people are spending more time at home or working from home, so seem to be buying a lot more products for everyday use.”
Jake Frost, 26, a surface engineer from Coventry, has an illustration business, Frost Studios, dedicated to digital and framed sports, music, and custom prints for his customers. He has been running it since April and finds lockdown good for spending more time on his drawings.
He said: “I had an Instagram account for my illustrations which I started out of boredom in the first lockdown.
“It turned into my business at the end of 2020 when people kept messaging me and asking if I could do one for them and they would pay me.
“I wouldn’t be able to tell if lockdown has improved or hindered the business as it’s all I’ve known but now I’m working from home, I have more time to put into the business in times when I’d otherwise be commuting to my daily job.”
Councillor George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “Small businesses are the foundation of this city’s economy.”
If any businesses are struggling during these unprecedented times, visit https://www.coventry.gov.uk/coronavirusadvicebusinesses for more advice.