This is an article by our Editor Helen Duval
The political scene at the moment can hardly appear inspiring on any front, irrespective of preferred sides. As we hurtle down a very uncertain path towards October 31st, there can be few who haven’t considered the impact that Brexit will have on their business. For all sized business owners looking at gaining increased funding to diversify or further grow a company, it must look nothing short of exasperating when trying to strategise a way forward.
Growth and new direction must make SMEs so frustrated as the uncertainty continues to leave people fearful about their futures. With the Bank of England now expecting economic growth to be flat, how is anyone expected to financially plan for their business?
Moving through uncharted economic waters continues to create alarm despite the UK economy returning to growth in May. According to the office for National Statistics there were positive results after a disappointing decline in April this year.
Hopefully June’s figures will continue to be buoyant and figures won’t start to shrink again. The last thing we need is to look at any major slowdowns in any industry, yet still it has to remain at the back of everyone’s minds.
Coping with the potential disruption caused by October’s Brexit will be almost impossible to avoid – we can only react to situations as they occur so preparing for possible future problems is at best exceptionally difficult.
Until an agreement one way or another has been reached investment in the UK will no doubt continue to be affected. Once Brexit has happened let’s at least hope that the way forward can be clearer so that there can be confidence in investment.
As we have already seen on the stock markets GBP could have a volatile journey which may make its value fall considerably. On the back of this, once Brexit has happened, the UK could have a much cooler relationship with the EU so there is talk of a short term recession. Hopefully business confidence and investment will bounce back even if existing supply chains are disrupted.
Tariffs, regulation costs and import/export controls will affect guaranteed delivery dates which must be absorbed into any business that must cater to the needs and demands of the customer/end user chain. Many larger companies are already stock-piling to prepare for a No Deal. It is a frightening prospect for many companies with tight connections to EU countries.
Yet despite all this, for SMEs funding for growth may be something to consider. Given the right support and business advice, smaller companies are considered by many economists as those that will be able to adjust more easily to the changes we are all about to face.
It is hoped that Brexit can create opportunity for those businesses that can adapt quickly. Irrespective of your stance on Brexit, it is clear that a lot of hope is being placed on the success of smaller businesses, with many considering them vital to the future growth of the UK.