Exclusive: Business Minister hails SMEs as economy’s ‘backbone’ as 75 per cent of CEOs say confidence surged during Covid-19
Minister for small businesses Paul Scully MP has praised UK companies as ‘the backbone of the economy’ as a new poll reveals that three-quarters of UK business leaders say that the way their business was able to adapt during the pandemic has boosted their confidence.
The polling was contained in a major new study by Capitalise.com, the UK founded platform that gives small businesses and their adviser transparency and control over their business finance all in one place.
The report, titled Get Fit for Business, commissioned independent research company Censuswide to poll 500 UK-based small business decision-makers in December 2021.
The report the data is contained in, tracks how business leaders are coping mentally and physically, and also how their professional and personal relationships and financial numbers are shaping up.
Of the business leaders surveyed, 75 per cent admitted that the last two years were incredibly stressful – but that they had hidden that stress from their team. Leaders clearly recognised the need to de-stress, however, with almost 73 per cent trying a stress-relieving activity such as yoga or meditation for the first time.
Furthermore, when asked about their health and wellbeing, 83 per cent agreed that they do their best work when they’ve had enough sleep and are eating and exercising well. But, 71 per cent said that working from home has left them feeling less physically fit.
As a result, the report also revealed that 78 per cent of business leaders have increased investment in the health and wellbeing of their team, knowing that this creates a happier and more productive workforce. Especially as 30 per cent said that keeping their team motivated was their biggest concern – this figure increased for healthcare, retail and transport sectors, which is understandable given the pressures placed on these industries during the pandemic.
But, despite some business leaders feeling burnt out, over three quarters said that they are feeling optimistic about 2022.
Commenting on the research findings, Minister for Small Business, Paul Scully MP, said: “Small businesses, operating under difficult circumstances, have performed incredibly well during the past two years. I am pleased to see the biggest priority for small business leaders remains expansion and growth, crucial for jobs in local areas, and the economy.”
“I am also encouraged to see more focus on staff wellbeing. This ensures a healthier and more productive workforce, who are the backbone of the British economy.”