New research from the Open University Business School has shown that small businesses in the UK are not yet ready to lead the drive to create new jobs. The research shows that our economic status currently remains weak.
In the three months to June 2011, 67% of small businesses had reported their current workforce had remained unchanged for 12 months, with the remainder actually losing staff than hiring.
There was a 1% difference between those businesses hiring and those shedding staff compared to a 9% difference in the previous quarter.
The level of optimism from 800 owners was down from last year,but several sectors experienced an increase in the sales balances over the quarter.
47% of small business manufacturers had seen a boost in sales.
Hotels, building companies and small retailers all reported negative sales balances, with small retailers feeling the pinch with a net sales balance of -26%.
John Endacott, tax partner at accountants Winter Rule, said: “We are seeing real problems on retail clients and rents are out of all proportion to the income generated.
“Landlords will have to reduce rents. However, if and when rents do come down, the next issue will be the impact on pension schemes as owners of retail space.”