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Small businesses could be a lifeline to economic recovery

Small businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy, accounting for 99 per cent of all its enterprise and employing about 13.8 million people. It stands to reason, therefore, that SMEs have a vital role to play in the economic recovery.

New research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) suggests that SMEs can make a major impact on increasing job creation. Since the economic downturn began in 2008, almost nine out of ten people (88 per cent) who found work in the private sector either did so with an SME or by starting up their own business.

John Walker, national chair of the FSB, said:

"Small firms are responsible for creating the majority of jobs and are more likely to take on people out of work, including those that have been out of work for some time. In the current economic climate, with costs increasing and cash-flow tight, small firms need all the help they can get."

Small businesses face many of the same pressures and business needs as large organisations, but often have to deal with them with a fraction of the resources and without any in-house HR support. Keeping paperwork down is a common goal, but there can't be any shortcuts when it comes to employment law or the consequences could be expensive tribunal claims.

Acas can provide Help for small firms to get it right from the start, by explaining how to take on staff and get them settled in. If day-to-day problems arise, such as with grievance and discipline, Acas also provides advice and guidance. Acas can also show the way forward with how to get the best from employees through People management skills training on a wide range of topics.

Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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