Small Businesses Ready to Take On The World, As Export Activity Doubles

Over a third of UK small enterprises say the UK’s decision to leave the European Union has had no impact on their performance

Small Businesses Ready to Take On The World, As Export Activity Doubles

The number of UK small businesses investing in exporting has almost doubled in the past year, suggesting many remain unfazed by Brexit – according to a report by Bibby Financial Services (BFS).

The SME Confidence Tracker, which tracks the sales performance, investment intentions and confidence of small enterprises, revealed that 15% of respondents invested in export activity in Q3 2016, compared to just 8% in Q3 2015.

22% manufacturers said they have also invested in overseas trade over the past three months, up from just 15% in Q2 2016, suggesting smaller businesses are on the hunt for growth beyond the domestic market.

On the topic of the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, 37% of those surveyed said June’s historic referendum decision has not impacted their business in anyway, although a further 37% believe it’s simply too early to tell.

Despite the positive findings, 51% of smaller businesses highlighted the decreasing value of the pound as a “significant threat” to their business rather than an advantage while exporting.

David Postings, global chief executive for Bibby Financial Services, said:

“While many small businesses are concerned about the falling pound, we’ve seen a range of positive data over the summer that show a resilience in the UK economy. Many firms are now taking advantage of the fall in sterling to build their export capability, particularly those who manufacture within the UK.

“Although more businesses are investing in international trade, the majority remain focused on domestic trade only. While former chancellor George Osborne’s ambition of doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020 is highly unlikely, there’s more that can be done by both the public and private sector to help small businesses find growth opportunities overseas.”

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