It’s ‘business as usual’ for UK SMEs, following the triggering of Article 50 at the end of March, with just 13 per cent of them expressing concern about the impact it will have on their operation.
Despite the events of the 29th March causing upset amongst large City firms, few small business owners are worried about the effect on them, as day-today issues continue to top the priority list of concerns.
Just 14 per cent of respondents are thinking about Brexit planning now that Article 50 has been triggered, with almost half (45 per cent) of SMEs feeling it is too early to tell if Brexit will negatively affect them.
The figures come from BDRC Continental research, commissioned by SME business lender Ultimate Finance, which took a barometer of sentiment across British small businesses following the news that Britain had formally begun ‘divorce proceedings’ from the European Union.
Anthony Persse, group director of strategy at Ultimate Finance, comments, ‘We know that UK SMEs have a long list of challenges that keep them awake at night and dealing with those issues are top priority; the potential problems posed by Brexit are simply not up there.
‘UK SMEs are run by inherently pragmatic people, many of whom have weathered the storm of the recession by making good business decisions and keeping a cool head. There is no reason why the news of Article 50 and Brexit should be any different; our research shows us that SMEs are in fact taking a calm approach to everything and concentrating on running their business day-to-day.’
The research reveals that SMEs (over 50 per cent) are being kept awake at night by ‘concerns about customers and meeting their needs’ and ‘concerns about sales volumes and cash flow’.
Persse continues, ‘What our research does show is that SMEs continue to have worries about cashflow – a problem that has been highlighted by our customers for many years. It’s a fact of life that businesses need access to working capital to survive so it’s alarming that this remains a real problem for SMEs, which make up 99 per cent of the business population in the UK.
‘We believe that funding for SMEs should be fast, flexible and fair as a matter of course, and that this should be a key issue for the industry to discuss rather than trying to second guess what might happen in two years.’