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Southwest tech businesses set for hiring surge as 58% of businesses in better shape than pre-pandemic

27th July 2021

A survey of over 300 leaders of tech SMEs across the Southwest has revealed the extent of the sectors resilience throughout the pandemic and its rude health as we emerge from the clutches of the pandemic.

The research, commissioned by Bristol-based Antidote Communications, in conjunction with TechSpark, saw 49% of surveyed tech business leaders including founders and MDs, report an increase in sales compared to pre-pandemic levels. 95% of tech leaders said their business was at least as healthy as it was pre-pandemic – while more than half (53%) said their company was doing better than before the COVID-19 crisis.

While many sectors, particularly hospitality and high street retail, have struggled over the past 15 months, the tech sector has experienced growth. As businesses have had to move online, the sector has undoubtedly benefited. 63% of leaders’ businesses are 100% digital, and nearly one third have SaaS products or services.

Fintech and deep tech are the most prevalent sectors for tech firms, accounting for 17% and 14% respectively of the representative sample. However, the diversity of sectors, from gaming to AI and martech to Robotics, is testament to the strength in depth of the region’s tech cluster.

The leaders of these tech SMEs are driving the economic recovery in the region. The potential for growth for these businesses is clear and 96% are optimistic about the future and have high levels of confidence for the second half of 2021.

Patrick Fraser, Antidote Communications MD, commented:

“These findings highlight a tremendous degree of confidence throughout the South West’s digital economy and indicate that the next twelve months may be the most fruitful yet for the region’s tech sector. The pandemic certainly presented challenges, but the tech cluster is now looking more robust than ever. It’s an exciting time for the entire region as this growth looks set to translate into more jobs, prosperity and innovation across the Southwest.”

Ben Shorrock, Managing Director, TechSPARK UK, added:

“Tech has become central to everyone’s lives during the last 18 months. Although there have been many challenges it’s heartening to see that organisations in the community are flourishing and will be creating more jobs, growth and opportunities across the Southwest.”

The research was conducted by TechSpark. 307 participating tech leaders were spread between founders/owners (104), c-suites (109) and directors/MDs (94). The survey was conducted online and undertaken between 5th and 22nd July 2021.

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