Britain’s SMEs are still recruiting

In Close Invoice Finance’s latest study of over 500 entrepreneurs, 68 per cent said they expect their employee base to be unaffected by job losses over the next 12 months. Only seven per cent of SME owners thought they would have to make redundancies this year.

“It is very pleasing to see that small businesses, the engine room of the British economy, are showing their strength and loyalty to employees,” comments David Thomson, CEO of Close Invoice Finance.

The Small Business Finance Barometer also revealed notes of cautious optimism, with 15.3 per cent of SMEs stating that they expected their company to expand.

The stats are backed up by Real Business’s own conversations with British entrepreneurs. At yesterday’s Customer Kings roundtable discussion, hosted by Cisco, ANS Group managing director Paul Sweeney told us he had recruited an extra 12 people in the past two months. “We expect turnover to jump from £12m to £24m in the next 12-18 months,” he said.

Sweeney says the bulk of demand for the company’s hardware and software over the past year has come from the NHS and public sector organisations – but he’s now seeing an explosion in interest from corporate clients. “I still know all my customers by name,” he says. “No matter how big we get, I want to keep it real.”

Related articles:Unemployed? Become an entrepreneur. Here’s how.The 2009 Customer Kings competition

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