THE number of businesses in Kent has grown by a quarter in the past five years to over 100,000, driven largely by a surge in self-employment, new figures have revealed.
Tunbridge Wells has the fourth highest number of businesses registered out the 13 local authorities in the county, including Medway.
In total, 9,363 firms are based in the borough, placing it fourth, with Tonbridge and Malling in sixth with 8,133 companies.
Alison Palmer, who heads the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Kent, said an ‘army of self-employed’, in particular those aged under 25, was behind the rise in new firms.
She added: ““The benefits of setting up shop in Kent are various – proximity to London, vibrant high streets and tourist footfall to name just three.
“The next government must do all it can to support Kent small businesses that are driving local growth and avoid any tax grab on these strivers if we want to see this entrepreneurial spirit continue to grow.”
Overall, Medway accounts for the highest number of registered companies, with 12,351 based in the area, followed by Sevenoaks and Maidstone.
In total 100,317 businesses are based in the county.