Small and medium-sized enterprises largely expect no benefit from Brexit, as 73% expected either a negative or no impact, according to a report by Aldermore Bank.
The ‘SME future attitudes report’ found that although 47% expected Brexit to have no effect on their business, over a quarter, 26%, expected negative impact, with 8% expecting it to be ‘very negative’.
Of the businesses anticipating negative impact from Brexit, 64% were concerned about economic uncertainty, while 43% feared UK taxes would rise as a result.
Although 65% of the SMEs surveyed traded solely in the UK, only 19% felt that Brexit would have a positive impact on their business, with 43% of that group expecting greater domestic investment.
SMEs were generally cautious in their expectations of 2017 performance, with 43% expecting their business revenues to stay constant.
However, a not insignificant percentage, 39% of the 1,000 surveyed, expected revenue increases over the coming year.
SMEs reported recruitment difficulties, with 43% stating they had difficulties. Over a quarter, 26%, said they could not find sufficiently experienced people, and 17% cited the lack of qualified individuals.
Carl D’Ammassa, group managing director, business finance, at Aldermore, referenced “mixed economic news” following Brexit, and stated that businesses must have access to capital.
D’Ammassa said: “It is therefore crucial that companies can access the capital they need. Some SMEs will tap into their operating surpluses or personal savings but we are hoping to do more to educate business about other options such as asset finance and invoice finance.”