North West firms planning to invest and recruit in 2021

As the UK emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic a new survey reveals medium-sized North West businesses are planning to invest and recruit more people. Tony McDonough reports

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Mid-sized North West firms are planning to invest more in 2021, says BDO


Medium-sized business across the North West are planning to invest and recruit over the next six months as the Uk gets set to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the country now starting to open up again and the Government’s roadmap aiming to see restrictions lifted by June 21, companies in the region are set to take advantage of the recovery, according to a study by accountancy firm BDO.

Its survey found that 89% of North West businesses plan to recruit more staff in the next six months with 80% saying they are going to invest more in 2021. More than 50% are planning new investment due to the Chancellor’s ‘super deduction’ policy announced in the Budget.

And 93% of medium-sized businesses in the region predict a return to pre-pandemic revenues within a year, according to BDO’s Rethinking the Economy survey.

Ed Dwan, partner and head of BDO in the North West, said: “It’s clear that as Government restrictions start to loosen, and the UK’s COVID vaccine programme continues to help suppress the virus, North West businesses are gaining the confidence needed to make key strategic decisions in the months ahead.

“Mid-sized businesses will play an integral role in the UK’s overall economic recovery. Pre-pandemic, mid-tier businesses provided a significant proportion of jobs in the region and this looks set to grow over the next 12 months, with 47% of businesses planning to hire more permanent staff.

“More than half (60%) are looking towards a temporary workforce in order to provide the flexibility to balance both resource and market demand during the course of 2021.

“In light of the Government’s £3,000 incentive to hire apprentices, the majority (63%) also said they would hire within the next six months, with a third specifically stating that this is because of the announcement.”

Mid-sized, private equity-owned and AIM listed businesses, what BDO calls the economic engine, account for less than 1% of UK businesses overall, but contribute £1.4 trillion in revenues and provide one in four jobs. 

In the five years leading up to the start of the pandemic, these businesses grew revenues by 46%, despite Brexit-related uncertainty.

Mr Dwan added: “While the general mood amongst North West businesses is one of optimism in the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, there is clearly still work to be done to ensure the correct levels of funding are administered fairly, and targeted support is given to each area. This will be vital in supporting businesses on the road to recovery.”

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