There’s no magic bullet to solving the COVID pandemic. Getting as many of us vaccinated as possible is the closest as we can have to one, and all employers should be actively encouraging their employees to get their jabs to protect themselves, their colleagues, and their customers. Many small business owners see the vaccination programme as the only reason for confidence in the long term future of their operations.
A recent report found that the cost of COVID-19 to small businesses has come to around £130 billion since the pandemic hit us in early 2020 with it costing, on average, each business between £20,000 to £50,000. That’s a massive whack to an SME.
Small businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the crisis. Whereas larger companies have significant buffers in terms of people, resources and reserves, smaller businesses just don’t have enough slack to deal with this kind of long term drop in demand for their services and products. And, as more than 95% of UK businesses are SMEs with less than 250 employees, this is a concern for the economy in general.
However, despite this difficult economic backdrop, there’s something interesting and maybe surprising going on. Despite the impact of the pandemic, the number of new business start-ups increased by 14% in the past year outstripping 2019 start-ups and the average globally.
It seems that many people have used furlough as a time to re-evaluate what they want to do and have used the opportunity as a springboard to plan and launch new businesses of their own. It is incredible to see this entrepreneurial energy coming to the forefront even in, or perhaps because of, such difficult times. It’s a great reason for hope, optimism, and commercial confidence.
What this tells me is that we are a nation of entrepreneurs. Peninsula itself was started from scratch 35 years ago because of one simple, good idea – to help business owners spend their time on what they should be doing, running their business, whilst we dealt with all their employment law and health & safety issues.
We’ve grown from 12 employees in a small 1,200 foot office to over 2,500 staff in the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Ireland, by focusing on doing what we are good at.
So, whether you’re a business owner coming through to the other side of the pandemic just about in one piece, whether it’s been a successful time for you during the pandemic, as it has for some businesses, or whether you’ve only started up during the last year, my advice is to concentrate on doing the same: do what you’re good at.
Don’t waste your valuable time and creativity on employment law and health & safety problems. Leave those to us. It’s what we know best. We’ll take all the headache out of it, enabling you to focus on what you know best.
Call our employment law or health & safety team and we’ll help with any problem you have, big or small – so you can get back to the day job of growing your company.