chapter  4
53 Pages

The growth and survival of mature manufacturing SMEs in the 1980s: an urban-rural comparison

The empirical evidence on which this chapter is based is drawn from a study of mature manufacturing SMEs in eight manufacturing sectors. In 1979, the base year for the study, all these firms were independently owned and employed less than 100 employees. The core of the project consists of a panel of firms in London which were the subject of a previous research project in the early 1980s. These firms were interviewed in 1979 and 1981 and the owners and/or senior managers of surviving firms were recontacted in 1990 and interviewed

ogerLeigh todiscussthechangeswhichhadoccurredintheirbusinessesover the1980s.Inthiswaywewereabletobuildupapictureofthe conductanddevelopmentofthesebusinessesbetween1979-90.In fact58percentofthe293firmsintheoriginalstudy(whichmetthe criteriaforinclusioninthepresentstudy)actuallysurvivedunti11990 andofthese126wereinterviewedin1990.InadditiontotheLondon firmswealsocompiledtwofurtherpanelsoffirmsdrawnfrom outermetropolitanlocations(inHertfordshireandEssex)andfrom northernruralcountiesinordertocomparethedevelopmentoffirms incontrastinggeographicalenvironments.Thischapterisbasedona comparisonbetweentheLondon(126firms)andthenorthernrural panels(80firms).