The uncertainty surrounding many jobs and sectors has seen a three-fold increase in people registering for freelance careers, according to a body committing £10m to supporting UK freelancers.
PeoplePerHour is the country’s largest freelance marketplace, and has been helping small businesses and self-employed freelancers for the past 12 years.
The platform says it has seen a huge spike in registrations compared to the same time last year, and is pledging £10m to help firms and freelancers ‘maintain continuity and prevent loss of earnings worldwide’ during the coronavirus crisis which has seen whole industries forced to shut up shop.
It says the money will be used to ensure small businesses get access to the freelance resources they need to survive the current crisis. This money will be available for businesses to hire one of the 2.4 million freelancers who have signed up to PeoplePerHour for any new project.
With whole economies are coming to a standstill, remote working will be the only way for some businesses to stay resilient and survive.
By helping businesses explore the potential of the freelance workforce for free, PeoplePerHour is hoping to support both SMEs and freelancers to weather the storm.
Founder and CEO of PeoplePerHour Xenios Thrasyvoulou said: “As long-standing supporters of small businesses and the self-employed, we feel it’s our responsibility to step up to the challenges that this virus presents to our community. Acting together, we are stronger than one.
“We are absolutely committed to supporting our community as they fight to survive this crisis in any way we can.
“As the virus unfolds an even greater number of people have turned to working freelance. In the first 16 days of March 2020, PeoplePerHour has experienced a threefold rise in global signups, compared to March 2019.
“No-one could have foreseen the dramatic effect that Covid-19 would have. But it’s at times like this we need leadership, and we need to stick together. Across businesses. Across communities. And across national borders. That way, we’ll all come out of this crisis stronger, and ready to face the future.”