We think that it’s about time the myth that SMEs need to be located in London and be immersed in the entrepreneurial spirit of the ‘big smoke’ is dispelled.

Businesses, particularly SMEs in this post-Covid landscape, have to be agile, adaptable and flexible which, as the events of 2020 have told us, we can do from our sofa-come-home-office.

As the country opens up and more of us begin to return to the office, we take a look at the city of Bristol and why we think it’s the perfect location for SMEs to feel right at home, alongside some of the hottest SMEs in Bristol that we’re keeping a keen eye on.

Why choose Bristol?


Smaller than some of the UK’s major cities but perfectly formed, Bristol is hugely accessible by public transport and easily explored by foot. Filled with charming spots to scout over a lunch break and awash with ideal meeting locations, the city of Bristol has an infectious vibe.


SMEs considering a move to Bristol will benefit from reduced office rental fees, and likely reduced staff salaries. Once lockdown restrictions ease completely, the culture of shared office spaces and flexible office solutions will still be very much alive with workforces still opting to spend at least some of their working week in an office environment and enjoying a collaborative working lifestyle.


Bristol is known for its cooperative and friendly atmosphere, which provides plenty of opportunity for SMEs to grow and network. In 2020, Bristol City Council announced a support service for new and existing businesses looking to grow, offering specialist advice for those in construction, digital firms and food businesses. More can be found about the scheme here.

Our thoughts…

Community Manager for our Bristol coworking space Miranda shares her thoughts on Bristol as a thriving hotspot for SMEs.

“In a recent global report by the Start-Up Ecosystem Rankings 2020, Bristol was ranked as the best city sitting just behind London for start-ups and the landscape for SMEs, within the tech sector specifically is one of the most welcoming in the UK.

It’s a really exciting time for the city, and I’m optimistic about what the rest of the year has in store for SMEs in Bristol”.

Up-and-coming SMEs

Bristol is already home to a huge network of some of the UK’s biggest and best-known brands including Rolls Royce, Strava and recently Channel 4 have brought a creative hub to the city.

But, what are the businesses that are piquing our interest?

Winner of the ‘Ones to Watch’ award for the West of England is EcoStardust in the ‘Leader of Environmentally Sustainable Business’ category. Founded in 2017, the company has seen impressive growth selling biodegradable glitter made from plant cellulose. The team have gone on to win numerous awards and have built up a network of stockists across the UK. We love to see brands built on sustainability and championing a way forward for other SMEs to follow.

Rerun Streetwear first began in 2015, selling vintage skatewear at the local skate park, but fast forward six years and the team now work through thousands of pieces every month sharing these with their community and on social media to a network of over 40,000 fans. See what they’re up to on Instagram @rerunstreetwear.

In the tech sector, the team at Scribeless founded their company in 2018 and the team use AI to handwrite letters, used by businesses looking for a personal touch to their communications on a large scale. Featured in Bristol Live’s roundup of startups in 2019, the company now has facilities in the UK, US and Canada and send to customers globally.

The SME community is constantly changing and growing and we’re thrilled to be in a position to offer new and emerging businesses in this buzzing city a space to grow in our Bristol office spaces, or through our desk rental options. If you’re an SME or start-up in Bristol, talk to us today to see how our flexible options can work for you: enquiries@flagship-spaces.com.