“EU Dependent” Small Businesses Fearful of Potential Brexit

More than half of the UK’s small and medium enterprises complain that uncertainty around Brexit is already holding back their growth

“EU Dependent” Small Businesses Fearful of Potential Brexit

UK small businesses are fearful of a potential British exit from the EU (Brexit) and 82% see the European market as important to their growth, a new report by RSA has found.

More than half (56%) of small businesses complain that uncertainty around the upcoming Brexit referendum is already holding back their growth – with two thirds (66%) calling for greater clarity on the UK’s future role in Europe.

Three-quarters (74%) of respondents believe the perception that small businesses are local by default is outdated and damaging, with the same proportion saying that international growth is important to their business.

Almost nine in ten (88%) of the small companies surveyed said the ability to grow internationally is increasingly important to small businesses as a whole.

North America (67%) is seen as the most important market opportunity, followed by Asia Pacific (61%), the Middle East (59%), South America (58%) and Africa (54%).

David Swigciski, small and medium business director at RSA, said:

“The UK’s small businesses are stuck in the gravitational pull of the EU. Current government export support isn’t working for our smaller businesses, who are struggling to trade beyond Europe.

“Not only are our small and medium enterprises missing out on growth markets, they face significant risk from uncertainty over a possible Brexit and our future relationship with Europe.”

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