SME owners feel ignored over Brexit issues

posted by 3 years ago in News

Brexit has been a focus for UK bosses of small and medium sized businesses since the result of the referendum back in June 2016.

Now research by Moore Stephens claims 94 per cent of owner managed businesses (OMBs) believe the government is ignoring their concerns over Brexit.

The UK is scheduled to depart the EU at 11pm UK time on Friday 29 March, 2019.

The accountancy firm questioned over 650 owner-managed businesses about Brexit as part of its report, “Powered by people and technology in 2018: the owner managed business view“.

It was found that only 41 of those asked said ministers were listening to their views.

More than half (51%) of owner-managed businesses also said that their single biggest concern for 2018 is how Brexit negotiations will affect them. Skills shortages (41%), cyber-attacks (29%) and increased regulation (28%) all caused less anxiety.

The introduction of trade tariffs caused the most concern for 38 per cent of owner-managed businesses regarding Brexit. 30 per cent fear a loss of EU labour, while 23 per cent are concerned about loss of European customers. Only 33 per cent said that they had no concerns around Brexit.

Mark Lamb, Head of Owner Managed Businesses, comments:

“Our research found that the level of concern amongst business leaders over Brexit is incredibly high.

“Whilst banks and other big businesses have the influence to lobby the Government for their own special Brexit clauses, there are concerns that small businesses will be forgotten about.

“Business owners are hugely concerned about what Brexit might mean for them. The Government must take their needs seriously when negotiating the exit deal.

“Brexit could potentially impact an enormous number of issues affecting owner-managed businesses in the UK, from import and export costs, to access to labour, and grants and subsidies. Businesses have been given very little clarity so far on what effect Brexit might have on any of these issues.

“Businesses thrive on certainty – it allows them to invest, scale up, take on more orders and expand their workforces. If the Government does not give them clear indications of what they can expect once the UK has left the European Union, it will be very difficult for many of them to invest in their growth.

“In their view, certainty has been in short supply during the Brexit process.”