The EU referendum has already impacted British small business growth, before the vote has even taken place, research finds.
More than 40 percent of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) respondents admit that the looming referendum has impacted current investment decisions, with nearly a fifth already focusing less on business growth in Europe.
A further 15 percent indicate that they are postponing entering into new business relationships, ahead of the vote on June 23rd.
Almost a third of small business leaders surveyed claim they have a high level of understanding of the implications of a potential Brexit on their business, while more than one in six has contacted their accountant for Brexit advice.
Paul Surtees, managing director and co-founder of Capitalise says there have been countless forecasts on a future outside of the EU but the study show that the threat alone is having an impact.
‘While we would expect confidence amongst SMEs to be shaken, to hear that one in three has already changed its investment strategy is indicative of just how fragile our small business economy is when faced with such uncertainty.
‘Whichever way the vote falls, small businesses that have access to business advice and the financial levers they might need to call on at short notice, will be best placed to weather the referendum storm.’
Chris Clay, Business Adviser at PKF’s London office adds that these results don’t just reveal the financial impact of the EU referendum over the last few months, but they demonstrate SMEs growing requirement for counsel and advice on a wide array of issues.
‘With the most prominent economists struggling to forecast the ultimate impact of ‘in’ or ‘out’, the accountancy profession is under pressure to work more closely than ever with clients and be a true extension to their business.’
Further reading on Brexit