July 22, 2011

Micro-businesses least confident of growth

by Jan Harris

While UK SMEs expect to create nearly half a million jobs in the next year, the smallest businesses are lagging behind when it comes to growth.

46 per cent of the UK businesses which took part in GE Capital’s SME Employment and Optimum Pulse survey were optimistic about their growth prospects, but marked differences were apparent when it came to the smallest businesses.

While 56 per cent of medium-sized businesses expected their sector to grow over the next year, only 39 per cent of micro-businesses expected growth, while 47 per cent expected a decline.

John Jenkins, CEO of GE Capital UK, said: “It’s clear that the smallest businesses, which after all make up the backbone of the UK economy, may need further support to boost business confidence and realise their potential.”

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s JobsOutlook for July also noted an improvement in the confidence of UK businesses.

It shows that 74% of businesses are planning to recruit permanent staff over the next three months.

Staffing levels increased by 7% across in the UK in the last month, according to the report.

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