The concerns most often heard from small business owners about Brexit are worries about staff levels, the finance options available to SMEs to see them through any turbulence, the impact currency movements will have on costs and the potential disruption to supply chains.
In a desperate last minute attempt to help matters the Government has told industry associations to bid for cash to fund their ideas on how to help businesses prepare for Brexit on October 31st. This initiative comes amid growing concern by the Government that small firms in particular are not ready for a no-deal exit from the EU.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) has warned that half of its members say they could never be prepared for a no-deal Brexit. The IoD have added that guidance needed to be improved and that technical notices are pretty impenetrable for the average small business and companies found them too technical and too jargonistic.
These sentiments have been echoed by the Federation of Small Businesses, who warns that a no-deal Brexit could see thousands of small businesses unable to import from, or export to, the EU. They highlight concerns that large numbers of businesses will not have the Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) numbers that they require to continue trading within the EU, with only a third of those in need of an EORI number having applied. The Federation suggests that the solution would be to drop the requirement to apply for an EORI number and automatically issue the numbers to all VAT-registered firms that trade exclusively with the EU.
All in all, there are increasing concerns that a no-deal Brexit will cause commercial chaos for the small business community.
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