Brexit

UK Small Businesses Bullish About Brexit, As Half Believe They’ll Increase Exports

UK Small Businesses Bullish About Brexit, As Half Believe They’ll Increase Exports

UK small businesses are confident about their ability to achieve future growth, despite the uncertainty caused by Brexit. A survey by Oxford Economics has revealed that 50% of all small enterprise owners believe they can increase their revenues by at least 4% in the coming year, with 57% believing they can achieve the same within three years – while 20% have set their sights on achieving an 8% annual growth rate. Indeed, it’s suggested optimism among business owners is high, with respondents almost twice as likely to think growth will accelerate rather than slow down over the next three years during which it’s assumed the UK will officially leave the EU. With Article 50 set to be triggered by the end of March, small firms are now looking beyond the single market and want to sell to the wor... »

Businesses To Bank On Britain After Brexit

Businesses To Bank On Britain After Brexit

UK small businesses believe they’ll have to rely heavily on home-grown trade in post-Brexit Britain, as few see room for growth in Europe. According to a study from Hitachi Capital, 59% of all UK small businesses expect to experience growth in the UK over the next year, compared to just 20% for Europe. With regards the rest of the world, 18% of small firms are looking towards North America as a possible market, while 9% have eyes on Australia and New Zealand – with 7% believing their business could potentially generate growth in Japan, East Asia and the Pacific nations. When it comes to the domestic market, a North-South divide appears evident – as 71% of small firms in the North East and 69% in the North West cite the UK as their biggest growth market, compared to just 51% in London... »

Important Legal Dates For Small Businesses: 2017

Important Legal Dates For Small Businesses: 2017

Every year brings both new and exciting challenges for business owners, so it’s important to look to the future and arm yourself with the knowledge you need to keep your business competitive. Below are the key dates for upcoming employment law and more general legal changes that every small business owner should know about. Spring 2017 31 March – Article 50 This is the last day in the government’s self-imposed target that Article 50 is expected to be triggered, although it could happen before or after this date. The effect Brexit will have on employment law changes remains unclear. Theresa May reiterated her claim that workers’ rights will remain fully protected when revealing her 12 point Brexit plan, but further details are yet to be revealed. One positive – at least in the short term – ... »

UK Economy To Slow Down In 2017 and 2018, Report Concludes

UK Economy To Slow Down In 2017 and 2018, Report Concludes

The UK economy is expected to slow down both this year and next, according to a report by The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR). Despite 2% growth in 2016, including 0.6% in Q4, NIESR’s forecast predicts the UK economy will slow to just 1.7% in 2017 and 1.9% in 2018. A drop in value of the pound sterling versus international currencies, and the impact of Brexit means consumer price inflation is likely to rise – which spells potentially good news for businesses but bad news for consumers. In global terms, the world economy is expected to grow at a faster rate in the next couple of years, with the annual growth rate forecast to rise from 3% in 2016 to 3.1% in 2017, and then to 3.5% in 2018. Simon Kirby, head of macroeconomic modelling and forecasting at NIESR said: “... »

UK Economy Grows 0.6% In Q4 Despite Brexit Concerns

UK Economy Grows 0.6% In Q4 Despite Brexit Concerns

The UK economy grew 0.6% in Q4, despite fears the UK’s decision to leave the EU would slow growth. According to the ONS, economic growth between October and December 2016 was identical to the two previous quarters, with the economy growing by 2% in 2016 – compared to 2.2% in 2015. Strong performances by the services and retail sectors were cited as being the main reason behind the surprising results, with the former growing by 0.8% in the last quarter. The manufacturing industry also bounced back from a slow Q3, with its quarterly growth figure of 0.7% slightly better than the 0.5% rate most economists had expected. The figures also showed that the construction industry grew by 0.1% and agriculture by 0.4%, while industrial production was unchanged. Paul Goodman, chairman of the Nati... »

Small Businesses Await White Paper On Brexit As Many Require Free Access To European Markets

Small Businesses Await White Paper On Brexit As Many Require Free Access To European Markets

UK small businesses will wait on Theresa May’s Brexit plans with bated breath, as they prepare for life outside the single market. May’s ‘white paper’, which could be introduced as early as this week, will formally set out the government’s plan for leaving the EU and will pave the way for official negotiations. According to a recent survey of 4,000 small businesses by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), many see free access to European markets as “vital” – with 32% involved in some form of overseas trade as an exporter or importer. 92% of respondents who export, and 85% who import, currently trade with the EU single market – signifying the importance of free trade inside Europe for smaller firms. As a result of the UK leaving the European Union, 29% of those surveyed expect their exp... »

Over Half Of All Small Businesses To Freeze Recruitment For 2017

Over Half Of All Small Businesses To Freeze Recruitment For 2017

51.2% of all UK small businesses have no plans to recruit new staff in 2017, according to a report by Close Brothers. The survey of 900 small enterprises revealed that 22.9% will turn to freelance workers or temp staff instead of taking on full time employees, with 58.6% worried about the current cost of recruitment given the uncertain economic environment. When asked about their reasoning behind hiring fewer staff, Brexit was seen as major factor by many – with 19.2% hiring fewer new workers in the light of the UK’s decision to leave the EU. Worryingly still, 45.6% of respondents admitted to actually letting staff go in the past 12 months, with just 10.4% saying Brexit prompted an increase in hiring. David Thomson, of Close Brothers Invoice Finance, said: “While the UK’s economic performa... »

Foreign Shoppers Exploit Weak Pound By Spending Over £725m In UK Stores During December

Foreign Shoppers Exploit Weak Pound By Spending Over £725m In UK Stores During December

Foreign shoppers took advantage of the pound’s weak value by spending over £725m on the UK high street in December alone, according to research by Worldpay. Their study of foreign credit card transactions revealed that spending was up 22% or an extra £130m compared to Christmas 2015, with bargain-hunters from Hong Kong the biggest spenders followed by the US, United Arab Emirates and China. It’s suggested Britain’s decision to leave the EU in June was major factor in the increase in spend, with the pound dropping 8% against the dollar and 12% against the euro tempting ‘Brexit tourists’ to fly over from some good deals. This drop in value also presents an opportunity for exporters however, with oversea buyers now believing they’ll get more ‘bang for their buck’ if they buy UK goods. James F... »

Businesses Praying For ‘Soft Brexit’ As Faith In Government Weakens

Businesses Praying For ‘Soft Brexit’ As Faith In Government Weakens

UK small businesses are dreaming of a ‘soft Brexit’, as just 29% have confidence in the government’s ability to protect them after Article 50 is triggered – according to a report by CitySprint. The survey of 1,001 enterprise owners revealed that 79% feel they haven’t received enough information about the potential business impact of Britain officially leaving the EU, with 50% hoping the UK retains access to the single market in return for some concessions to the EU. Just 35% of respondents have said they support a ‘hard Brexit’ which would potentially mean the UK giving up access to the single market, while 15% said they were unsure which option they preferred. When asked what support measures they’d like the government to implement, 49% said slashed taxes, 36% said they’d like... »

Small Business Confidence Higher Than Ever – But Will Trump Victory And Brexit Change It All?

Small Business Confidence Higher Than Ever – But Will Trump Victory And Brexit Change It All?

UK small business confidence is at an all-time high for 2016, according to a report by Hitachi Capital Business Finance. The survey of 1,006 small and medium sized enterprises revealed that small firm optimism increased by 11% on Q3, with 43% of all respondents saying they were in a buoyant mood about the coming months. In contrast, the number of enterprises worried about their outlook during the October to December months matched the lowest numbers recorded for 2016, and small business pessimism is also at its lowest in two years. Despite the increased optimism, it’s been suggested that the surprise election of Donald Trump as US president today could hamper any long term positive feelings in the small business space. Charles Reilly, director of Fridgesmart, believes that while UK exporti... »

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