Brexit

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... »

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... »

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