Small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) in the UK that survived through years of the pandemic and lockdown are emerging stronger than ever, ready to hire new staff, bring in new customers, and significantly improve their bottom line.
This is according to “Big opportunity?”, a new report from accounting, financial, HR, and payroll technology provider for SMBs, Sage.
Surveying more than 2,000 businesses in the UK on their experience of surviving the pandemic, Sage found that almost half (43 percent) expect to hire more people this year. An even bigger percentage (48 percent) expect their workforce to increase by up to 20 percent, which would amount to 321,000 new jobs in the UK, just this year.
For almost a third of UK SMBs (30 percent), the workforce had shrunk in the previous year, but 66 percent are confident they’ll be able to meet their staffing needs this year.
They still expect significant assistance from the UK government, though. Almost half (43 percent) have been relying on external financial support, while a fifth mentioned the lack of government support as their key challenge. In fact, government support has been singled out as the most important resource for SMBs for this year.
Business leaders are being kept up at night by rising costs, and concerns of inflation, the report further states, adding that almost a quarter (23 percent) sees increases in costs as their biggest risk, going forward. Many anticipate cost pressure to increase further, this year.
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