There are almost 58,000 enterprises registered in the West, according to new data.
A study by the Western Regional Development Commission revealed that there were 57,951 enterprises registered across counties Mayo, Sligo, Galway, Roscommon, Leitrim, Donegal and Clare in 2017.
This accounted for 17.1 per cent of all enterprises registered across Ireland at the time. In total, 255,261 people were working in these businesses, including both owners and employees. In the Western Region, employees accounted for 84.6 per cent of everyone working in enterprises. This was lower than the 90 per cent state average meaning that owners accounted for a larger share of the enterprise workforce in the region.
In Mayo, there were 9,151 enterprises registered in the county in 2017. A total of 39,569 people were engaged with the enterprises both as owners and employees. Construction made up 22.6 per cent of all enterprises in the county. The number of enterprises registered in the Western Region fell by 4.3 per cent between 2008 and 2012. This was weaker than the national performance where the number of enterprises grew marginally (0.1 per cent) over this period.
With economic recovery, the number increased again, growing by 6.5 per cent in the Western Region between 2012 and 2017 (11 per cent nationally). Much of this growth occurred in more recent years and particularly between 2016 and 2017.
“Clearly micro-enterprises play a very significant role in the Western Region’s enterprise base. There is a higher share of owner-managers working in enterprises in the region which is important to keep in mind when designing and planning business supports. While enterprises in the region were hit very hard during the recession, there has been recovery, accelerating in recent years. There were more enterprises registered in the Western Region in 2017 than a decade earlier,” said author of the report, WDC Policy Analyst Pauline White.
In terms of the number of enterprises, Construction is the largest sector in the Western Region accounting for 20.4 per cent of all enterprises registered in the region. Wholesale and Retail (15 per cent) and Professional, Scientific & Technical activities (9.4 per cent) are next largest.