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Brexit and small/medium businesses

(65 Posts)
Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 10:12:08

Global international companies make headlines, but they are not the only firms operating in the UK. Small and medium businesses employ 60% of the people in the private sector, and have over half the turnover in that sector. Does anyone know what is being planned both in financial and in operational terms by either of the political parties to help them survive the coming Brexit earthquake?
SMEs may be worst affected by Brexit, research suggests BBC News, Scotland.

"Small businesses accounted for 99.3% of all private sector businesses at the start of 2017 and 99.9% were small or medium-sized (SMEs).
Total employment in SMEs was 16.1 million; 60% of all private sector employment in the UK.
The combined annual turnover of SMEs was £1.9 trillion, 51% of all private sector turnover in the UK."

Anniebach Mon 22-Jan-18 10:22:27

Good post Elegran, all we hear is of the public sector workers

MaizieD Mon 22-Jan-18 10:23:41

Does anyone know what is being planned both in financial and in operational terms by either of the political parties to help them survive the coming Brexit earthquake?

It's there in the news story, isn't it?

A UK Government Department for Exiting the EU spokesperson said: "We are engaging extensively with businesses and organisations across the country - including our important SME sector - as we seek to secure a good deal with the EU that works for the whole of the UK.

So lets not worry our elderly feminine heads about this; the DExEU are onto it...

And, of course: we are confident of negotiating a deep and special economic partnership.

jura2 Mon 22-Jan-18 10:27:31

Oh Maizie- you are awful- but I like you ;)

MaizieD Mon 22-Jan-18 10:35:38

Well, what other reaction can there be?

By the time the tories have finished dishing out bribes to keep businesses. and farmers, and, I expect, fishermen, happy about Brexit the country will be bankrupt any way.

But there might be a lot more jobs created for filling in all the extra paper work that exporting as a 'third country' will generate...

Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 11:14:20

Have we heard any detailed plans from Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn about backing small and medium firms? Or are we going to get all our employment and tax income from the global giants (if they stay)?

Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 11:16:29

And if we haven't, have we any suggestions for them? (keep it clean, now!)

paddyann Mon 22-Jan-18 14:15:01

theres a new ferry route from Ireland to Spain to avoid the UK when Brexit arrives.Seems they think travelling through the UK will cause holdups and cause problems .Might see if I'm eligible for an Irish passport

jura2 Mon 22-Jan-18 14:37:29

Every industry sector in Yorkshire seeing rise in business distress

The number of businesses across Yorkshire showing increased levels of distress is on the rise, according to research published by Begbies Traynor.

The data highlights that the number of firms with financial problems has escalated both year on year and quarter on quarter by the end of 2017 across every industry sector.

The quarterly Red Flag Alert data, produced by business rescue and recovery specialist Begbies Traynor, reveals that in Q4 2017 ‘significant’ distress levels among Yorkshire businesses climbed by 31% compared with the same three months in 2016, affecting 29,744 businesses.

The region also saw a quarterly increase indistress of 9% on Q3 2017.

Across the UK as a whole distress levels are rising even faster, with a year-on-year increase of 36% in Q4 2017, and distress now affecting almost half a million British businesses.

whitewave Mon 22-Jan-18 14:37:33

It is all the border control that will be avoided. The ferry sounds extremely sensible.

Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 15:05:01

So what measures would be helpful to these small and medium businesses in distress?

whitewave Mon 22-Jan-18 15:25:47

Their paperwork, if they export/import will increase enormously. Cash flow will also become problematic, so measures to address both of these will be appreciated.

Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 15:46:26

Have we heard any hints (from either party) that after Brexit they will be assisting businesses to cope with paperwork and cash flow? With export campaigns to replace the trade they are likely to lose? With arranging and funding apprenticeships to replace skills which will be depleted if trained workers vote with their feet? What kind of assistance would be possible? What do other countries' governments do to support their SMEs?

MaizieD Mon 22-Jan-18 15:55:29

I'm surprised that non of Gnet's Small Business owners have responded to this topic. They must be more aware of what is, or isn't, being done than most of us..

Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 15:56:05

Immediately after the result of the referendum was announced, I started a thread with something like "OK, the result is in. What do we do now?" but I have yet to learn any answers to the question.

There has been a lot of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth, a lot of blame and recriminations thrown in all directions, but there doesn't seem to be any plan of "How to move forward once the deed is done" None from either major party, none from the most active and vocal political posters on Gransnet. Is everyone expecting the apocalypse after Brexit? Or that the future will magically settle itself?

Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 16:00:02

Some small business owners posted a while back about the problems they face at present. I don't remember them getting much sympathy, so perhaps they don't think it worth responding - or maybe they don't have the time to research what is being contemplated (if anything).

MaizieD Mon 22-Jan-18 16:11:58

there doesn't seem to be any plan of "How to move forward once the deed is done" None from either major party, none from the most active and vocal political posters on Gransnet.

Quite frankly, as the most active and vocal political posters seem to be completely anti-Brexit I don't actually see why they should have to 'plan' anything.

And if you're thinking that you might get something useful from the vocal Leavers I'd suggest that you don't hold your breath.

Mamie Mon 22-Jan-18 16:17:30

Elegran I hope that the UK government will eventually see sense and go for the EEA / EFTA option. It will be far inferior to full membership but is the best that can be hoped for in terms of damage limitation for the economy.

jura2 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:33:47

Totally agree Mamie- but it will mean the 4 freedoms as part of the deal, and no say and large sums of money.

Mamie Mon 22-Jan-18 16:41:43

I know jura but as I said on another thread there was nothing about the four freedoms on the ballot paper. Yes it will cost money, but it seems to me that the alternative is an economic disaster. And before anyone turns up to say “you can’t foretell the future” I would say at this distance you certainly can. 😨

jura2 Mon 22-Jan-18 17:08:31


One good thing for some, will be that if the £ drops even further down (which would be a disaster for us all living abroad on UK pensions) - it would make it cheaper to export. But those gains would probably be lost in the tons of extra red tape. On the other hand, for those importing, it would be very detrimental.

Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 17:14:07

I would hope that the party leaders and their advisors at least would be working on contingency plans at a more detailed and local level than which EU organisation we join, whether they are for or against Brexit. Even the GN political remain pundits could spare a little time from expressing their dismay at the prospect of Brexit to cast around for ways of softening the impact when the axe falls., and the leavers should definitely be thinking hard about what positive, constructive legislation and what support organisations will be needed in the years after the big change of direction.

As it is, all I see is repeats of the same accusations of exactly who is to blame for the situation. At this point it doesn't matter who dropped us off the precipice Whoever it was, we need a parachute, PDQ, and if no-one is busy designing and constructing one, then it is time somone got busy.

There are people on GN who pride themselves on their knowledge and experience of political/financial matters. Some have small businesses, some are not but have the academic experience of MBAs, some presumably have both. I would have thought a few ideas would have surfaced by now.

gillybob Mon 22-Jan-18 17:24:37

I don’t have a lot if time ( I’m on grandma duties ) but I know Many small businesses in the forum I attend are terrified . Two of our significant customers are “moving some of their manufacturing abroad” and see it as the only way forward. How could we not see this coming ?
The FSB write a lot about how brexit will/might effect sme’s .

Mamie Mon 22-Jan-18 17:30:18

The point is though Elegran that EEA / EFTA takes away many of the problems as SM / CU remain in place. Have you looked at the Richard North EU Referendum blog? I am sure I would dislike him if I met him, but he has a huge and very impressive understanding of the complexity of the issues. I am sure they will be reading it in Whitehall.

Elegran Mon 22-Jan-18 17:35:44

If a small business goes under, all its employees lose their jobs and are added to the list of those receiving benefits. As well as the personal misery that will cause, there is also a financial cost to the country. Instead of that business being a contributor of tax for the government of the day to distribute to where it is needed, it has indirectly contributed to the amount being paid out instead.

Support for SME firms facing ruin is essential, and as important as financial incentives to encourage international companies to set up here.