Research Paper

Rural business aspirations, obstacles and support: an analysis of the Longitudinal Small Business Survey 2015

ERC Research Paper No. 58

Associated Themes
  • Business Growth
  • Productivity and performance

A rural-urban analysis of the UK’s Governments Longitudinal Small Business Survey (LSBS) responses for 2015 has been undertaken to understand spatial variations in performance and uptake of external support services. The analysis is based on 15,500 survey responses from across the UK and uses official rural-urban classifications. Approximately 28 per cent of survey responses to the LSBS are classified as rural. Within the rural context, conclusions relating to growth have previously been hampered by difficulties in separating out whether rural location has a distinctive effect or whether spatial variations in business performance reflects differences in size, sector and age of business. Therefore this analysis used Propensity Score Matching (PSM) to control for these and other profile variables, allowing for an assessment of rural effects on business performance.