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The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.

Analysis Report: Economic and Business Activity in Stafford


Stafford’s economic landscape is diverse, marked by significant activity in professional, scientific, technical, and retail sectors. With 90,054 employees, the city has experienced considerable growth, especially in emerging sectors like e-commerce and analytics. The presence of a large number of SMEs and startups, along with a mix of young and experienced company directors, reflects a dynamic business environment. However, the absence of IPOs suggests a focus on organic growth over public market exits.

Employment and Business Growth

  • Total Employees: 90,054. Stafford has seen a robust increase in employment, with 271 companies reporting a rise in employee numbers. This 8.36% growth rate indicates a healthy job market, particularly in key sectors.
  • Top Sectors for Employment Growth: The top sectors showing employment growth are ‘Other manufacturing and engineering’, ‘E-commerce’, ‘Consumer banking and financial services’, ‘Analytics, insight, tools’, and ‘Automotive’. This diversification points to a thriving and versatile economic environment.

Sector Dynamics

  • Top Sectors by Company Count: The leading sectors are ‘Professional, scientific and technical activities’ (1,101 companies), ‘Wholesale and retail trade’ (949 companies), ‘Construction’ (748 companies), and ‘Administrative and support service activities’ (663 companies). These sectors form the backbone of Stafford’s economy.
  • Emerging Sectors: Sectors like ‘E-commerce’ and ‘Analytics’ show growth, indicating Stafford’s adaptation to digital transformation and data-driven business models.

Business Continuity

  • Company Cessations: In the last year, Stafford experienced 690 company closures, which suggests a challenging environment for certain sectors or a natural cycle of business turnover.
  • New Companies: With 1,732 new companies in the past two years, there’s a clear sign of entrepreneurial vitality and a conducive environment for startups.

Diversity and Leadership

  • Gender Diversity in Leadership: The percentage of female founders and directors in Stafford is 21.62% and 29.61%, respectively. This indicates progress in gender diversity, although there’s room for improvement.
  • Age Distribution of Directors: The age distribution of company directors skews towards the older demographic, with 29.10% being over 60 years old. This could imply a wealth of experience in the business leadership.

Innovation and International Reach

  • Number of Patent Owners and Grantees: With 275 patent owners, Stafford shows a promising level of innovation.
  • Exporters and Companies with Foreign Parentage: 243 exporters and 144 companies with foreign parentage underline Stafford’s global business connectivity.


Stafford’s economic environment is robust, marked by diversity in sectors, a healthy growth in employment, and a blend of established companies and startups. The city’s business landscape is shaped by innovation, with a focus on sectors like e-commerce and analytics. While gender diversity in leadership roles is improving, there’s potential for further progress. The city’s global reach and innovation are key strengths, despite the lack of IPOs, indicating a preference for organic growth.

Company foundations and cessations over time

Active companies over time

The information is accurate as of 31 December 2022.
Data courtesy of Beauhurst.