§ Mr. Henderson
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how he defines a small business; how many firms he estimates fall within that definition; and if he will estimate how many of them employ about 15 people or fewer.
§ Mr. Trippier
A small business is generally defined as one which has a small market share, is managed in a personalised way and is not part of a larger organisation. The statistical definitions adopted by the Bolton committee and revised to allow for inflation are as follows:
Manufacturing200 employees or less
Retailingturnover £309,000 per annum or less (£50,000)*
Wholesale tradesturnover £1,236,000 per annum or less (£200,000)
Construction25 employees or less
Mining/quarrying25 employees or less
Motor tradesturnover £618,000 per annum or less (£100,000)
Miscellaneous servicesturnover £309,000 per annum or less (£50,000)
Road transport5 vehicles or less
Cateringall excluding multiples and brewery-managed public houses * May 1983 estimated equivalent of Bolton report definitions (which are shown in brackets)
No precise figures are available on the number of firms.Our information is that 95 per cent. of the total of 570W 1.35 million businesses would be regarded as small with upwards of four fifths of them employing 15 or fewer employees.