COUNCILLORS have hit back at a damning report which branded Boston as the worst place for business growth in the East Midlands – insisting that this area actually showed entrepreneurial spirit in the recession.

Grim statistics from a BBC-commissioned Experian study ranked Boston as 298th of 324 local authority areas in the country, with the number of companies falling from 3,020 to 2,903 in the past two years.

The news came as unemployment in Boston reached five per cent – above the post-recession high of January 2010.

However, Boston Borough Council says the figures do not tell the full story. It argues that Experian does not distinguish between large businessess employing lots of people and small one-man operations.

Experian data shows the number of self-employed people in Boston is almost 10 per cent, well above the national average.

Coun Derek Richmond, portfolio holder for the town centre, said: “In Boston’s case Experian has confirmed that many of the 117 businesses which it has recorded as becoming insolvent over the past two years may well be one-man businesses due to its high self-employment rate.

“Far from being, as the BBC has headlined Boston, ‘the worst area in the East Midlands for business’, this higher-than-average entrepreneurial spirit demonstrates that Boston is a good place for business, with many brave people prepared to take the plunge to test their own business ideas.”

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