UK SMEs are looking to bolster their employee numbers in the face of rising inflation and energy costs, according to new research today.
Small and medium-sized businesses have tabled plans to hire around six newbies, on average, in the first quarter of this year, Barclaycard Payments’ SME Barometer has revealed, with 40 per cent looking to hire before March.
It signals that smaller firms are starting the year in a strong position, despite the impacts of the pandemic and squeezed budgets.
Earnings for the first quarter of 2021 are expected to lift by more than 13 per cent year-on-year, the research added.
While businesses are still set on luring in more staff, two thirds remain concerned about what impact the rising cost of living, inflations and soaring energy bills will have on their businesses.
Though research suggests companies are quietly confident that they will be able to navigate looming cost challenges, following the highly turbulent pandemic period.
“The strong start to the year for British small and medium-sized businesses… is really great news,” said SME Investor co-founder Jo Fairley.
“But it comes at a time where two thirds of SMEs are also acutely aware of the challenges posed by the rising cost of living, inflation and energy bills – potentially a perfect storm.”
“Nevertheless, the last couple of years have shown that the British consumer is keener than ever before to support smaller and local businesses, and this should prove really positive for SMEs, helping them not just to cope but go grow in the months ahead.”