MICRO-businesses make up the majority of enterprises in Swindon, recent figures from the Office for National Statistics show.

The latest ONS data for all VAT or PAYE-registered businesses in Swindon for March 2018 shows there were 6,590 active local micro-businesses, defined as employer with fewer than 10 people at the company.

This makes up 89 per cent of all the VAT or PAYE-registered enterprises in the Swindon area, which is roughly the same as the UK average.

In addition, out of the 6,590 micro businesses, a large majority (89 per cent), had fewer than five employees.

Jordan Marshall, policy development manager at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, said: "People in local communities really value micro-businesses, like independent, family-run shops."

But he said that the resources available for micro-businesses varies a lot depending on where they are located.

He said council-funded initiatives like co-working and networking spaces can help micro-business owners reduce costs.

The Workshed co-working space in Swindon's historic Carriage Works building opened in June, after a multi-million pound make-over by Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council, to attract smaller and more digitally-focussed start-ups to the town.

Mr Marshall added: "The extent to which the council supports these spaces will have quite a big effect on independent businesses."

Mr Marshall also said that advances in technology have made it easier for people to run micro-businesses from home.

"Remote working means you can operate a business from anywhere," he said.

"You're not dependent on large employers, and you can have clients anywhere in the world."

The Carto Group, social media marketing company SocMedSup.Com and Digital Marketing Specialist all occupy space in the Workshed.