The region's medium-sized businesses have been praised as the unsung heroes of the economy in a new study.
CBI research published today shows that medium-sized businesses (MSBs) having done much of the heavy lifting during the recovery, significantly contributing to jobs and growth across the North East and the UK.
North East MSBs – firms employing 50 to 499 people, equivalent to a turnover of between £10m and £100m – generated almost £40bn in sales from 2012 to 2013.
Across the UK the majority of these businesses, 82%, expect the national economy to improve over the next 12 months and 88% expect their own business situation to improve.
Despite only representing 2.2% of firms the businesses employ 13.4% of the workforce and create 48% of the revenue and CBI research shows that with the right support these firms could be worth an additional £20bn to the economy by 2020.
John Huddleston, CBI North East regional executive, said: “Medium-sized business are vital to the North East – employing thousands of people and contributing revenue to the local economy. These businesses are optimistic about the economy and with a small helping hand from the Government their future growth potential could be even greater.
“With better access to a range of growth finance options, improved training, research support and help to break into new exports markets – they could be worth an extra £20 billion to the UK economy by 2020.”
The CBI recently launched M-Clubs, a series of meetings for firms to boost the capabilities of medium-sized business.