Businesses fear post-Brexit era – planning for a new future

Two thirds of businesses say Brexit vote has negatively impacted their growth potential and will be financially damaging to their organisation.

The UK business community is hesitant to commit to a future in the UK post-Brexit, an independent study commissioned by Dun & Bradstreet reveals.

Overwhelmed by concerns about the future of their business once Article 50 is invoked, 19 per cent of businesses have halted or slowed growth or expansion plans in the UK. While over half (59 per cent) of senior financial decision makers believe that Brexit will be financially damaging to their business.

Almost two-thirds (64 per cent) of organisations feel that the result of the EU Referendum has negatively impacted their business’ growth potential.

As a result, almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of respondents are planning for change post-Brexit to manage expected market and business fluctuations, with just under half (49 per cent) admitting their business is likely to either leave or reduce investment in the UK post-Brexit compared to the 42 per cent who said such a move was unlikely and the 9 per cent who are unsure.

‘It is clear that businesses are analysing and in some cases reconsidering their position in the UK,’ comments Markus Kuger, senior economist at Dun & Bradstreet.

Kuger adds, ‘Until we know exactly how Brexit will happen – for example, whether the UK will maintain access to the EU’s common market once it leaves the EU – businesses are going to be cautious.

‘No one knows what the business world, and the economy it drives, will look like post-Brexit. We recommend that businesses make contingency plans and remain vigilant of market activity but also, remain calm.’

Assessing how the EU Referendum result has impacted their business already, the survey highlighted main consequences, such as: their organisation has become more cautious about investments and expenses in general (24 per cent), while 19 per cent of businesses have seen a dip in deals with European partners and/or customers. Overall, 60 per cent of businesses admit that since June 23rd, their business has become more risk averse.

When asked what most concerns them about the future of their business in a post-Brexit world, respondents revealed a clear trend toward access to information and business growth opportunity.

Less than half (41 per cent) of businesses are worried they will no longer have access to as much information about European partners and customers – a vital factor in successful decision making.

Additionally, over a quarter (27 per cent) are concerned they will miss out on business growth opportunity because they are not part of the EU. While almost one-in-five businesses (16 per cent) are worried they will not have the bandwidth to manage the amount of work needed to ensure regulatory compliance post-Brexit.

‘It’s clear that uncertainty from the EU referendum is clouding organisations’ planning and confidence. They are worried about their own growth opportunities and, more specifically, they are concerned about essentially being ‘cut out’ of the European business community,’ says Kuger.

‘The only way to truly alleviate their fears is for the Government and the EU to make clear what will happen once Article 50 is invoked. The future may not be as dramatic as businesses seem to be anticipating. But until that picture is clearer, we cannot blame them for worrying and starting to think about their future away from the EU.’

Further reading on the future impact of Brexit

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