Innovative rural manufacturing firms saw sales turnover grow by 77 per cent between 1991 and 1996, according to Innovation and New Technology in Small Rural Firms, a report by The Rural Development Commission. The study found firms increased sales because they introduced new technology and as a direct consequence created more jobs. Regular expansion into new markets.
‘Growth and survival of Small Rural Manufacturing Firms’ revealed that 87 per cent of rural manufacturing firms survived the early 1990s recession and employment increased by 17 per cent because they sought external advice and continued training staff. Firms in the agricultural machinery, electronics and food processing sectors, employing between 20 and 49 people had the highest success rate. While smaller firms of 10 to 19 employees failed to expand because they lacked specialist management skills.