How are SME owners coping with Brexit?



A new survey involving British SME owners has uncovered some fascinating insights into how the community is feeling about the economic landscape over a year after the Brexit vote.

The survey, run by Leeds-based accountancy firm Russell Smith Chartered Accountants, asked business owners from around the UK a number of questions about their experiences in the year since the decision was made to leave the European Union.

The findings shed some light on how British business owners are feeling in the wake of the Brexit vote.

The data gathered reveals that while most are happy with their choice, not all are content. 18% of those that backed leave would vote to remain if given a second chance, whereas only 8% of Remainers would switch their vote. This shift in thinking amongst SME owners is likely due to inaccurate information provided by campaigning parties prior to the vote.

The survey revealed only 2% of SME owners were happy with the information provided to them about Brexit, with 76% believing the campaigns to be a total failure and 22% saying they were provided with only some accurate information. Despite this, there is little hope amongst SMEs for a second referendum, with only 20% thinking it is still possible.

The fiscal impacts of the Brexit vote are explored further in the survey, with questions about the current situation of businesses in the UK.

Of SME owners polled, 44% have seen a negative turn to growth and profitability since June of 2016. Only 7% claim to have been positively affected by the vote. The majority of businesses though (47%), have yet to see a positive or negative impact.

40% of business owners are uncertain of their future in a post-Brexit world, while 11% predict they will struggle. Another 40% believe they will see no impact at all, with only 9% actively anticipating a boost to their business.

The survey also revealed that 80% of businesses want the UK to strike a Norwegian-style deal with the EU and retain freedom of movement.

A further 80% of those that work with EU partners or suppliers claim that no matter the result, they will look to maintain their relationships. 13% of SMEs trading with EU nations will instead look to domestic partners following Brexit, with only 7% looking to international partners further afield.