For these reasons, small business industry is critical to UK economic development and social cohesion. They provide a medium for retirees and other potential unemployed persons to have gainful employment and contribute fully and independently to wider society. Small businesses have been contributing to employment and manufacturing since the 1960s. The increasing rates of self-employment have been attributed to; a parallel rise in rates of unemployment (e.g., retirees, unspecialised graduates); reductions in levels of unemployment benefits and government incentives; and the increasing importance of technology in the information service industry.
In the early 1970s there were changes to the industrial structure across the globe of industrialised nations. Initially, the value of the small business decreased, but by the 1970s the structure of manufacturing saw dramatic changes and small firms began to provide better quality of products and services than larger corporations, particularly in areas of rapid technological changes (e.g., electronics). Over time, small firms began again to add value to the UK economy, and among many small businesses their rates of employment increased. ...Show more