Rob Perks is the CEO of Inspire, a company dedicated to helping businesses in the South West maximise their success through business strategy, making the right connections and knowledge sharing.
As the “circus” of Brexit continues, seemingly unabated, Inspire is focused on supporting our members and identifying risks that may be lying in wait, particularly in the event of a sudden departure from the EU.
We asked our members this month to tell us what issues were most concerning them. The overriding feedback from almost all businesses was that whatever the basis on which we leave the block, we need to bring matters to a conclusion and the worst outcome would be an extension to article 50 and a further period of uncertainty which is the most severe and wide-ranging impact of all.
Beyond that, the following were the top 6 issues raised.
- Businesses would like more information and detail on the imposition of tariffs so that they can calculate the impact on their finances and the need or otherwise to pass on costs to their customers
- The impact on lead times for obtaining imported goods for their supply chains and lead times for exporters for delivering their products to EU markets.
- Linked to the above, some help either directly from Government, through the Banks, British Business Bank or other funders to fund short term interruptions/delays to cash flow which could be catastrophic for some businesses operating to just in time deliveries.
- Concerns about their workforce, access to new EU workers and retention of existing workers. Reassurance from Government on this would be very welcome as for some businesses this is a critical issue
- Clarification on any legal/documentation issues as soon as possible so that they can gear up for the new environment
- Any impact on intellectual property issues.
In response to point three, we believe that this is a critical issue which could cause some businesses to fold, not because they are unprofitable or because they will lose business, but purely due to delayed deliveries leading to delayed payments from customers or delays in their supply chains.
Some Banks and other Finance Providers are willing to supply short term lines of credit to get businesses through these difficulties but now is the time to get these in place. Leaving it too late to apply when Banks could be overwhelmed with applications, could be catastrophic and unnecessary.
If you need help to get arrangements in place, talk to us on 01172 034288 or email us via our website www.inspirebiz.co.uk.