HC Deb 28 July 1983 vol 46 cc569-70W
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:

Manufacturing 200 employees or less

Retailing turnover £309,000 per annum or less (£50,000)*

Wholesale trades turnover £1,236,000 per annum or less (£200,000)

Construction 25 employees or less

Mining/quarrying 25 employees or less

Motor trades turnover £618,000 per annum or less (£100,000)

Miscellaneous services turnover £309,000 per annum or less (£50,000)

Road transport 5 vehicles or less

Catering all 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 1.35 million businesses would be regarded as small with upwards of four fifths of them employing 15 or fewer employees.