British business has been dealing with Brexit uncertainty since the referendum result. The incompetent exit strategy the government pursued left SME businesses with no platform to effectively plan.
It’s clear the lack of clarity has had a material impact on decision making. Strategic investment is being delayed with industries left unprepared to act – alongside a potential Labour government, ‘European Spring’, power shift, US/China trade war and the global slowdown.
This decision-making paralysis is forcing SMEs to ‘stick to the knitting’ as they remain unsure of the cost impact leaving the EU will have – understandable keeping overheads to a minimum and building cash reserves. Businesses employing EU national are facing a dwindling talent pool; we’ve witnessed a slowdown in the number of people entering the UK, making recruitment harder.
Businesses which import and export across the EU, are immersed in scenario planning around moving goods (which could result in severe working capital disruption).
Even businesses without exposure to international trade will feel knock-on effects across supply chains.
Our Brexit philosophy is to not second-guess everything – we advise our clients to be agile enough to tackle the inevitable change. I expect a turbulent time ahead -but Haines Watts will be providing a commercial ‘sound board’ to clients, helping support business owners through whatever challenges may come.
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If you want to chat through the implications that Brexit may have on your business, contact your local Haines Watts office.