On February 9, 2021 NEMR President Steve Sweeney was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article on small business hiring in January. Many small businesses are anticipating a strong recovery once more Americans are vaccinated, so they’ve started bringing employees on board, Steve told reporter Hannah Lang.
“We spoke for a good 20 minutes about a variety of different issues,” he volunteered. “Naturally, a journalist can’t use everything in a story, and they need to include a number of different sources.”
Other topics Steve discussed were how small businesses are a bellwether for the broader economy and how the pandemic is leveling the playing field when it comes to the labor pool.
“Small businesses recognize revenue faster than larger companies, so they are a predictable measuring stick,” he asserted. “They are nimble. They see things faster, they employ people more quickly and they put money back into the economy sooner.”
– Steve Sweeney on small business hiring
The pandemic has created new and unexpected demand for the products and services of many smaller businesses, from swing set builders to food manufacturers. One NEMR client in the pest control business had its best year ever in 30 years.
While many enterprises are finding it hard to realize a business upside in the pandemic, small companies have learned how to be flexible with their workforces. That creates a critical opportunity to recruit from anywhere rather than just in the local market for the many jobs that can be done with a computer and a phone.
“There’s been a realization that most small businesses can have at least some employees work remotely,” Steve maintained. “This is an opportunity for small businesses that have been previously resistant to a non-traditional workforce.” “It opens a huge labor market that was the sole domain of the corporate world. Now that smaller employers have been thrust into offering remote work and flexible schedules, the labor pool will become more equalized.”
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