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One in five SMEs plan to recruit as vaccine boosts confidence

New YouGov research reveals nearly a fifth (19%) of SMEs in the UK are planning to recruit more staff for new roles following the successful vaccine rollout.

The survey, commissioned by Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, canvassed the views of more than 1,000 senior business decision makers at SMEs from a range of different industries about how the vaccine rollout has impacted their business plans for the year ahead.

As well as highlighting a surge in recruitment optimism, the survey revealed a further 19% of SMEs also said they were planning to reverse redundancy decisions as a result of Britain’s inoculation programme.

Hard-hit hospitality sector to benefit most
The hospitality and leisure industry stands to benefit the most from the vaccine rollout with more than a quarter (27%) of those surveyed in the sector agreeing that they’re planning to reverse redundancies, while 23% of IT businesses, 22% of manufacturing firms, 21% of finance businesses and a fifth (20%) of construction SMEs agreed the programme had saved jobs.

The research also examined the impact of the vaccine rollout on SME solvency. More than half of the business decision makers surveyed (52%) were hopeful they will stay open as the nation continues to be vaccinated at speed.

Jab in arm for job security
Andy Dodd, Managing Director at Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance, said it was great to see that the success of the vaccination programme was translating into business confidence for thousands of SMEs.

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

The survey was conducted online in late February. Figures were weighted and are representative of British business size.

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