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Fewer companies are going out of business in Devon & Cornwall, according to official figures.
Court reports show there's been a 14% drop in cases in the last 12 months.
In Exeter specifically, 19% less companies are appealing for bankruptcy.
But Devon insolvency expert David Kirk doesn't think the figures tell the full story: "for the last couple of years a lot of businesses have been defering their tax and that tax can't be deferred forever. I think that's reduced the initial impact of the recession but dragged it out over a longer period."
He continued: "we've been shielded for the last couple of years because we've got such a high proportion of people who work either in local government, teaching or the NHS and as those services start to get cut that's going to have a knock on effect."