More than 112,000 trade businesses have been set up since the first lockdown

More than 112,000 trade businesses have been set up since the first lockdown

Since the first Coronavirus lockdown was announced on 23rd March 2020, over 112,000 trade businesses have been set up in the UK, new research has revealed.

The study, conducted by IronmongeryDirect, analysed over one million rows of Companies House data and found that more than one in 10 (11%) of all businesses set up during the pandemic (1,019,970) are in the trade industry.

Of the 112,047 new companies in the sector, almost a fifth (19%) focus on the ‘development of building products’, with 20,753 start-ups – more than any other trade category. Similar projects also take up the next three spots, with ‘construction of domestic buildings’ and ‘commercial buildings’ both making the top five.

Plumbing, heating and air-conditioning installation firms account for 7,299 of the new businesses.

These lockdown companies are spread across the UK. While London has the most new trade businesses (24,977) due to its size – almost eight times as many as the next city, Birmingham (3,175) – Aberdeen has the most per capita.

With 163 new companies and a population of just under 230,000, there is one lockdown trade start-up per 1,403 people in the Scottish port city. On this metric, Southend-on-Sea takes second place and top spot for England, followed by Bath.

Dominick Sandford, Director and Head of Merchandising & Marketing at IronmongeryDirect, said: “The pandemic has brought many challenges to businesses, but it’s great to see that it has also created some opportunities, with lots of tradespeople starting new companies.

“Setting up a business can be tricky at the best of times, so these individuals deserve tremendous credit for making it work during lockdown.

“If you’re thinking of following their lead and starting your own trade company, we’ve partnered with Rick Smith, Managing Director at an insolvency and business rescue specialist, to provide expert advice on how to do so.”

For expert tips on how to set up a business, visit

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