Brexit

Three Weeks Before The General Election, Just 19% of Small Business Owners Support A Hard Brexit

Three Weeks Before The General Election, Just 19% of Small Business Owners Support A Hard Brexit

Less than three weeks before the general election, just 19% of small business owners support a ‘hard Brexit’ – according to a report by Chartered Management Institute (CMI). The survey of over 800 managers has revealed that 43% believe access to the single market and free movement of people across the EU should remain once the UK officially leaves – something the current government has ruled out should they be re-elected. When asked for their top business wishes for the next government, securing trade deals with non-EU countries is a priority for 66% of enterprise owners as businesses begin to ‘think global’. Guaranteeing the rights of existing EU residents (58%), investing in capital infrastructure (53%), maintaining investment in the Apprenticeship Levy (30%) and promoting UK... »

Calls To “Radically Reform” Support For Businesses Following Brexit

Calls To “Radically Reform” Support For Businesses Following Brexit

Calls have been made to “radically reform” the small business support network in the UK, as firms begin to get ready for life outside the European Union. The Reformed Business Funding: What small firms want from Brexit, from the Federation of Small Businesses, claims that when the UK formally leaves the EU, a dedicated £3.6bn fund to develop the competitiveness of UK small businesses will be lost. Expected to end in 2021, there is currently no regional or national equivalent to take its place, nor any discussions of a replacement in the pipeline. 78% of small enterprises have sought business support services over the last 12 months, with those in Yorkshire (25%), the North East (22%) and North West (18%) the most likely to submit applications for EU-funded schemes. As a result of its findi... »

Nearly 60% of Business Owners Are Worried Brexit Will Damage Their Recruitment Plans

Nearly 60% of Business Owners Are Worried Brexit Will Damage Their Recruitment Plans

59% of UK small businesses are worried that immigration rules post-Brexit will damage their ability to recruit suitable staff, according to a report by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). The What Small Firms Want From Brexit report, which surveyed 1,236 FSB members, revealed that 56% of ‘EU-employers’ are worried about any changes to current employment legislation whatsoever – with 13% even considering moving their operations abroad or shutting their doors altogether. With regards current staff, 72% of respondents said they recruited said employees while they were already in the UK, while 95% have no experience in the current “points-based “system for obtaining work permits for non-EU citizens. In its recommendation to the government, the FSB urged Theresa May to g... »

Businesses Believe They’ll Weather The Storm, With 91% Confident They’ll Survive The Next 12 Months

Businesses Believe They’ll Weather The Storm, With 91% Confident They’ll Survive The Next 12 Months

UK small business owners are confident they’ll ‘weather the storm’ of economic and political uncertainty, with 91% believing they’ll survive the next 12 months The survey by FreeAgent of 701 firms with fewer than 10 employees, has revealed that while 50% believe the economy will worsen over the next six months – just 3% are planning on downsizing their business. Despite increased unpredictability with the triggering of Article 50 and announcement of a snap election, a mere 1% of respondents believe their business will have failed by this time next year. Taking a more optimistic approach, 10% of those surveyed believe the economy will actually improve in 2017 – while 28% believe it will remain largely the same. Seemingly bullish about Brexit, 64% of small business owners even want to expand... »

99% Of Senior Finance Executives Say Their Business Will Increase Spending Next Year

99% Of Senior Finance Executives Say Their Business Will Increase Spending Next Year

99% of senior finance executives say their business will increase spending and investment over the next 12 months, according to a survey by American Express. The 2017 Global Business and Spending Outlook, which surveyed 100 senior finance executives at companies in the UK with annual revenues of $500m or more, revealed that businesses are bullish despite political and economic uncertainty. In order to stay competitive against international competition, respondents are planning to spend more on customer service (67%), technology infrastructure (51%) and recruitment (48%) as a priority. While businesses are also looking to strengthen financial reporting and compliance (37%), production inputs (35%) and advertising, marketing and PR (31%) – as transparency becomes increasingly important for c... »

Investors Keeping An “Open Mind” About Brexit

Investors Keeping An “Open Mind” About Brexit

UK investors are keeping an open mind about the impact of Brexit, with a significant number seeing life outside the EU as an opportunity for investment– according to a report by Market Financial Solutions. Their survey of 1,000 UK investors revealed that just 9% believe the triggering of Article 50 has derailed their plans for the next two years, with 39% viewing the next 24 months as good time for short-term investment. With business rates set to increase by as much as 18% over the next five years, 37% of respondents currently view buy-to-let as an attractive investment, while 45% are now more open to other investment classes because of low interest rates. Despite the relative optimism among those surveyed, 33% are only taking a short-term approach to investments – a signal of how politic... »

Businesses Ignore ‘Doom And Gloom Experts’ To Go For Growth

Businesses Ignore ‘Doom And Gloom Experts’ To Go For Growth

UK small businesses are ignoring ‘doom and gloom experts’ and focusing on growing sales in the coming months, according to a report by eBay. Their survey of 416 small firms who hold an eBay account revealed that 46% are optimistic about their future growth prospects, compared to just 19% who are pessimistic. Despite months of economic uncertainty, it appears that respondents are growing tired of negative commentary concerning the UK economy – with 52% fed up with news stories that don’t affect their business. Indeed, business owners see themselves as ‘masters of their own destiny’ with 72% believing it’ll be their own actions that make or break their enterprise. When it comes to other potential risks that could influence their growth, a reduction in consumer spending (41%) topped the... »

Triggering Of Article 50 Won’t Stop Consumers Buying Premium Goods

Triggering Of Article 50 Won’t Stop Consumers Buying Premium Goods

The triggering of Article 50 next week is unlikely to deter consumers from buying premium brands over the next two years, a new report has revealed. A survey from the Centre for Retail Research and Rakuten Marketing, which interviewed 1,000 UK consumers, has discovered that although consumer prices are rising at an annual rate of more than 3% – few shoppers have any intention of changing their spending habits. Just 6% of respondents claim they’d flat out refuse to buy an item if faced with a price increase of 10%, with 62% saying they’d purchase their favourite premium brand regardless. A tipping point does exist, however, as a 15% price would cause 21% of shoppers to switch to a cheaper competitor. An important consideration for ecommerce businesses, 57% of online buyers are not pre... »

Bigger Exporting Businesses ‘Concerned’ About Future – But Small Firms Report ‘Business As Usual’

Bigger Exporting Businesses ‘Concerned’ About Future – But Small Firms Report ‘Business As Usual’

Larger exporting businesses were more concerned post-Brexit than smaller domestic firms, a report by BDRC Continental has revealed. Its SME Finance Monitor, which surveyed over 100,000 UK small businesses, found that 70% of smaller enterprises said that nether political or economic uncertainty posed any barrier in Q4 2016 – suggesting many were unhinged by the EU referendum result. The reaction among larger businesses, with between 50-249 employees, was significantly different however – with 35% worried about the economic climate and 32% worried about the political one in the same quarter. Despite shrugging off any Brexit concerns, smaller respondents were less confident of expanding their operations over the next 12 months, as just 43% said they expected to grow – compared to 49% in 2013.... »

Business Owners More Worried About Europe Than Britain Post-Brexit

Business Owners More Worried About Europe Than Britain Post-Brexit

UK small business owners are more worried about the future of the European market than the domestic one, according to a new report by Idinvest Partners. The survey of 1,500 people revealed that 57% would describe themselves as “optimistic” when thinking about the UK economy over the next 12 months, with respondents 10% more concerned about Europe’s performance in the same period. Just 59% said they were pessimistic about the country’s future economic performance and a potential rise in inflation. With Article 50 set to be triggered next month, access to the single market (30%), raising finance (29%), and red tape (23%) were signalled as being the main causes of concern – with 47% saying that personal savings will be their most likely source of funding raising. Christophe Bavière, CEO and B... »

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