Jan 21 2013 by Ian Proctor, Harrow Observer
INCREASING numbers of companies are launching in Harrow despite the country’s poor economic outlook, new figures show.
The borough outperforms Westminster, Camden and Islington when it comes to the rise in the number of registered active businesses – a 7.7 per cent increase between 2009 and 2011 – according to the Office for National Statistics.
Rhona Denness, general manager of Harrow in Business, a not for profit organisation which supports small and medium sized businesses in the borough, said: “These figures are a great boost for all of us working to promote the borough and the enterprising spirit which is so prevalent in Harrow.
“Harrow in Business is working closely with Harrow Council and the business community to ensure that relevant, modern and focused business and enterprise support is available so that it can make a real difference to our economic growth and community cohesion.”
Harrow Council worked to build on this success last year by organising business fairs at Harrow Civic Centre in Station Road, Harrow, on themes such as franchising, tendering and contracting, doing business in Asia, business start up, and survival and growth.
It published a guide on how to start a company, as well as a local business directory.
Other initiatives have included introducing companies to West London Business’ Gateway Asia programme, which was launched in July last year and helps firms access local markets on that continent. Through the same project, a promotional video was created called Invest Harrow, which was designed to entice foreign businesses here.
Harrow Council’s portfolio holder for planning and regeneration, councillor Keith Ferry (Labour), said: “These figures prove our support has had a massive impact upon the local business community.
“It is vital that we nurture the entrepreneurial spirit of individuals who want to start up a new business as these ventures hold the key to ensuring the local economy continues to go from strength to strength.”
Brent saw a rise in the number of active businesses between 2009 and 2011 of 2.9 per cent – from 12,475 to 12,835.