Two-thirds of UK SMEs have no plan for Brexit

Recent surveys from CitySprint and Bibby Financial Services (BFS) have found that 64 per cent of UK SMEs have not made specific plans to prepare for Brexit and 35 per cent expect no deal to be made between government and EU.

UK businesses are despairing at how leaving the EU will affect their business, and the possibility of a “hard brexit”. The new research by CitySprint and BFS stated that 43 per cent of UK SMEs have lost confidence in the government, and their ability to protect them from the impact of Brexit.

Edward Winteron, UK CEO of Bibby Financial Services, said: “Uncertainty isn’t good for business and Brexit is uncertainty in its most acute form.”

CitySprint found that only  three quarters of SMEs are as confident about the future of their business as they were 12 months ago. This is a significant drop from the 85 per cent figure recorded in the 2015 survey, indicating serious concern about the future.

The new survey found that businesses would like to see changes made once we leave the EU. Many cited reduced VAT and smaller taxes as priorities, as well as the prolonged transition deal with the EU.

While businesses have yet to see a direct impact from Brexit, CitySprint estimated that around 19 per cent expect profit margins to decrease and 17 per cent expect revenue to drop.

Patrick Gallagher, Group CEO at CitySprint Group, commented on the findings: “Whatever difficulties the future holds, it’s ‘business as unusual’ for the UK’s SMEs.

While the majority of SMEs are failing to prepare fully for the Brexit aftermath, some are increasing businesses activity to prepare for the future. Around 30 per cent of businesses have increased focus on goods and technology, while more than a quarter have even decreased their costs to prepare for any vulnerabilities.

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