Northern Ireland is a small business economy and has a total of 67,960 businesses registered for VAT. Newtownabbey has a total of 1,850 businesses registered for VAT, the majority of which are Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SME’s) with 68% of these businesses having less than 5 employees.
The number of employees per business in Newtownabbey and Northern Ireland are shown below:
|Newtownabbey||Less than 10 employees:
|50 and over:||3%|
|Northern Ireland||Less than 10 employees:
|50 and over:||2%|
The local economy in Newtownabbey is made up of a diverse and wide-ranging group of companies spanning various industries. The largest business sectors for Newtownabbey and Northern Ireland are shown below:
|Agriculture, forestry & fishing||9%|
|Northern Ireland||Agriculture, forestry & fishing
In 2007 the Annual Business Inquiry estimated turnover from businesses in Northern Ireland to be worth £53,366 million (excluding VAT), an increase of 5.5% compared to the previous year. Gross Value Added (a measure of the value of economic activity generated by businesses) was estimated at £17,225 million, up 7.5% over the year.
In addition, manufacturing exports from Northern Ireland increased by 8.5% (£428 million) over the year to £5.5 billion. Total sales to the Republic of Ireland in 2007/08 were £1.7 billion, up £150 million (10.0%) over the year (2006/07 – 2007/08).
In respect of inward investment, there are a number of large and successful companies that have located in Newtownabbey. Some of these include; Boxpak Ltd, Leaf Technologies Ltd, Brett Martin, Rotary Group Ltd, Royal Mail, Northgate, Camco (USA), (Japan), F.G. Wilson (Engineering) Ltd (USA), Nortel Networks (Canada), Bombardier Shorts (Canada), Freutauf (Germany), Valence Technology Ltd (USA).
These statistics not only illustrate Newtownabbey's strength amongst the small business sector but show great expansion possibilities. The Council's Economic Development Section has played a vital role in building and strengthening the local economy over the recent years. The Councils role is to act as a "first stop shop" - a gateway for local businesses to access advice and assistance relating to business start up and improvement.
The Economic Development Section is responsible for sourcing the funding to support these activities. From 2001-2006 the Economic Development Section was responsible for managing and administering £1,062,090 under the Local Economic Development measure of the European Union’s Building Sustainable Prosperity Programme, from 2003-2006 - £105,801 from the New Opportunities Fund to deliver an ICT Outreach programme and during 2010/2011 - £128,355 under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
It is the intention of the Economic Development Section to sustain and build on this hard work in order to ensure Newtownabbey remains the place to live, visit and invest in.