Three in 10 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) believe that Brexit will have a negative impact on their future, while just 22 per cent think that it will benefit them, new research has shown.
A newly-released survey by Nucleus Commercial Finance – conducted in November 2020, before the EU withdrawal deal was signed – found that medium-sized businesses were more positive about the opportunities associated with Brexit, while sole traders were most likely to report that they will see no impact.
More than two thirds (69 per cent) of SMEs said that they were fully informed about what Brexit means for their business, and one quarter had already made the necessary changes to prepare for post-Brexit success.
21 per cent of SMEs said that they did not feel informed at all, and had made no changes to their business plan ahead. A further 15 per cent of those surveyed said that they don’t know what steps to take yet.
“Now the UK has left the EU, many British businesses are facing widespread changes as they start the new year,” said Chirag Shah, chief executive of Nucleus Commercial Finance.
“This is a real challenge for those SMEs that don’t necessarily have the means and resources they need to plan effectively.
“However, there is a lot that small and medium business owners can do in the months ahead, and indeed over the next few years as we get used to a post-EU world.
“Businesses will need to put plans in place that will prepare them for the new changes they are facing and for any potential disruption this may present. Whether this be operational or structural changes, business owners need to consider the cost of this and ensure they have a suitable financing option in place to support them.”
The Nucleus survey also found that 38 per cent of businesses were relying on the government checklist to keep up to date on Brexit changes, while 23 per cent were using online advice tools and 19 per cent used the Brexit advice service. However, 29 per cent have been using no resources at all.
The EU withdrawal deal was finalised at the end of December 2020, and came into effect on 1 January 2021.
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