Region’s businesses tell of no-deal Brexit fears

Nearly half of small firms in the region believe that a no-deal Brexit on October 31 will negatively impact them, according to new research from the Federation of Small Businesses.

Less than one in ten (eight per cent) believe that it will have a positive impact on their business.

Nationally, among those small firms that believe no-deal will negatively impact them (39 per cent), only one in five (21 per cent) have planned or prepared for anticipated issues. And nearly two thirds (63 per cent) don’t think they are able to plan.

National Chairman of the FSB Mike Cherry said: “Ongoing uncertainty is to blame for preparations hitting the skids with the picture still not clear as to how the UK will leave the EU. Until we get clarity, small firms must prepare for the cliff edge where possible, and make preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

“Preparing for this outcome is coming at a high price though with small firms being hit by an unstable pound and having to shell out money on a potential outcome that has been highly disruptive, remains uncertain and is unwanted. Government must use what little time is left to provide small firms with the support they need to navigate the unchartered and turbulent waters of a no-deal Brexit.”

Preparations for a no-deal Brexit come with a high price with the average cost of £2,000.

According to the FSB, that rises to £3,000 for smaller businesses that export and import. Just under one third (31 per cent) of prepared small businesses have stockpiled while 34 per cent report temporarily or permanently reduced profitability.

Just under half (46 per cent) of these firms, along with those that plan to prepare for no-deal over, think that the volatility in sterling has negatively impacted their business. Almost half (46 per cent) believe they will be negatively impacted by a no-deal scenario, would welcome some form of financial support.

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