SMEs ditch plans for redundancies thanks to vaccine rollout

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Date: 30 March 2021

Young woman signing an employment contract

One in five small businesses say they have changed their recruitment plans as a result of the successful vaccine rollout and now plan to take on more staff.

A poll conducted by YouGov on behalf of Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance has found that nearly a fifth (19%) of small firms are planning to recruit more staff for new roles following the UK's successful vaccination programme. A further fifth say they will be able to reverse planned redundancies.

More than 1,000 senior business decision-makers at UK small firms were asked how the vaccine rollout has impacted their business plans for the year ahead. Just over half of the small businesses surveyed (52%) said they are hopeful they will stay open as the nation continues to be vaccinated at speed.

The hospitality and leisure industry looks set to benefit the most from the vaccine rollout, with more than a quarter (27%) of those surveyed in the industry revealing that they're planning to reverse redundancies, while 23% of IT businesses, 22% of manufacturing firms, 21% of finance businesses and 20% of construction SMEs said that the vaccine programme had saved jobs.

"The UK is leading the way when it comes to vaccine rollout, and it's great to see the success of the programme is translating into business confidence for hundreds and thousands of SMEs," said Andy Dodd, managing director at Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance.

"Many employees up and down the country across a range of industries including hospitality and leisure, will be grateful for greater job security. The news that many businesses are now beginning to think about hiring new recruits is also a huge positive for the wider economy."

Businesses in the West Midlands are most confident about their future, with 57% saying they're hopeful of staying afloat as a result of the vaccine rollout. Nearly a quarter (24%) of London-based SMEs are planning to reverse redundancy decisions off the back of the vaccine rollout and 29% are expanding their recruitment plans.

The survey also found that 30% of small business leaders said that their firm would not have survived without government support. Almost a quarter (23%) said they had let people go as a result of the pandemic and 27% said they still require additional government support to stay afloat.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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