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Article by The Echo: Businesses in Basildon are booming while Southend companies are struggling to make a profit, according to latest research.

Figures released by the Institute of Chartered Accountants show Basildon and Billericay have the highest average business turnover for the East of England.

Firms bring in more than £667,069 a year–more than 30 per cent above the national average of £505,644.

But, just 12 miles down the road in Southend, businesses are performing worse with an average turnover of £363,037 – less than 75 per cent the British norm.

This puts the town bottom of the rankings for the region, and 583rd out of the 632 constituencies across the country. Castle Point also has a below average business turnover of £394,190.

Katherine Davison, chairman of the South East Essex Federation of Small Businesses, believes Basildon’s close proximity to London gives it an edge over neighbouring areas.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Katherine Davison"]We have seen businesses have really improved in the last two years. They were doing a lot worse, but now when I go along to meetings people seem a lot more positive. In Southend we still have issues and they are mostly down to where we are. Southend is at the end of a motorway and has very little transport routes, so it’s hard to attract big names. Basildon is a lot more central, and also has a lot of industrial space. I’m confident things are going to improve even more in south Essex over the next few years.[/quote]

Kevin Blake, Tory deputy leader of Basildon Council, said this proves overseas trips to business hubs around the world which the Tory administration has been slammed for in the past are worthwhile.

[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by Kevin Blake"]This is just the beginning. It’s taken a lot of years and it’s taken a lot of criticism, but I think a lot of people will be eating humble pie now. You’ve got to speculate to accumulate sometimes. We’ve had to use taxpayers’ money to promote Basildon, but it’s worked because we’ve managed to bring in some big names who are now pumping money back into the economy. We have always attracted businesses from London because the rates are cheaper here, and we’ve got good roads in and out of the borough. People then settle here and buy houses and spend money in our town centre, so the knock-on effect is brilliant.[/quote]

Read the full article by Chloe Chapman, The Echo

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