Earlier this week, pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German manufacturer BioNTech reached a breakthrough in the development of their Coronavirus vaccine. Analysis so far suggests that the vaccine is over 90% effective in preventing Covid-19. Although studies are ongoing, the vaccine has already been tested on 43,500 people in six countries, with no major safety concerns being raised so far.
Despite Boris Johnson’s warning that people should not “rely on this news as a solution” to the pandemic, the scientific breakthrough will be welcome news for City firms and small business owners across the country. Needless to say, SMEs have been hugely affected by the pandemic over the past few months, and have had to remain resilient through rigorous lockdown restrictions, forcing many to temporarily close their doors twice.
Whilst the pandemic is far from over, the announcement of a vaccine rolling out early next year may signal a light at the end of the tunnel for many small business owners who, for the first time perhaps, can finally see an end in sight. In response to Pfizer’s vaccine results the FTSE 100 rocketed, leading to one of the heaviest trading days since the height of the pandemic, with nearly $2 trillion changing hands across global markets.
Hopefully this will turn the tide with investment flowing back into small businesses from both private and public resources. The effects of the pandemic have led investors to reconsider what they are doing with their investible assets, and after an initial period of fear and uncertainty, more investors are now looking to use their funds to help businesses across the UK. This demonstrates that the investor sentiment already exists to help get the UK economy back on its feet.
Investment in small businesses is going to be hugely important to the UK’s economic growth over the next few months and years, with the SME arena contributing over £2tn, employing around half of the private sector workforce, and accounting for 99% of all businesses. The success of the UK economy as a whole may hinge on the prosperity of SMEs, start-ups and high-growth firms.
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