‘No need to fret over slight dip in growth’

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A 29 per cent drop off in the net growth rate of companies in Hemel Hempstead is nothing to worry about, say the experts.

Duport.co.uk, a business that helps other firms set up, has looked at the figures for 2012 and says the register of companies increased by 305 in the year, some 29 per cent down on the 431 increase in 2011.

Duport says the growth figure was affected by double whammy nine per cent drop in company formations and an 11 per cent rise in closures.

This, it suggests in Duport Business Confidence, means trading conditions are still difficult for companies in the area.

But both Duport.co.uk and Dacorum Borough Council were quick to accentuate the positives in the local economy.

Council leader Councillor Andrew Williams said it is clear that the economy is strong and prosperous.

Mr Williams, who has recently taken on the economic development portfolio at the council, added: “The net growth of new businesses did dip slightly in 2012 compared to the previous year, however there was a net increase of more than 300 new businesses.

“We have the lowest unemployment rate in the county and as a council we are firmly committed to doing everything we can to help the local economy to prosper.”

He added that work on the economy includes attracting further investment, offering care and retention support to our entire business community.

Mr Williams added: “The master plans that we’ve put together for the Maylands Business Park and Hemel Hempstead town centre show that we’re prepared to make the physical changes to the area that are needed to make Dacorum an increasingly attractive prospect for organisations and that we’re a borough that’s open for business.”

The work of the council was also praised by the boss of Duport.

Managing director Peter Valaitis said: “Although our report shows a dip in net company growth, the numbers seen in 2012 are far better than during 2009, when net company growth dropped to just 34. The local council is working hard to regenerate and modernise Hemel Hempstead – and I’m sure local businesses will reap the benefits in years to come.”

Visit www.duport.co.uk/hemelhempstead for more data.