Belfast Telegraph

Number of firms in Northern Ireland rises by 1.9%

Number of NI businesses has risen (stock photo)
Number of NI businesses has risen (stock photo)
Ryan McAleer

By Ryan McAleer

The number of businesses in Northern Ireland has increased by 1,430 in a year, new figures suggest.

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (Nisra) yesterday released the latest count of VAT and PAYE-registered firms here in 2019. It found a 1.9% increase to 75,490 from 2018, representing the fourth consecutive year of growth.

It followed a sustained period of decline between 2008 and 2014. The biggest increase in 2019 was in the construction sector, with 300 extra businesses on the register, bringing the total to 10,515. There were also 235 new businesses in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industries.

Derry City and Strabane saw the biggest rise in 2019 (2.7%), while Newry, Mourne and Down saw the largest actual increase with 225 more businesses.

Of the 75,490 businesses operating in 2019, 2.5% were not locally-owned. 

However, these companies accounted for almost a quarter (24%) of all employees.

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