Members of the Tenterden-based Wealden Business Group are divided in their opinions on post-Brexit trading conditions, with some seeing opportunity, and others difficulties.
A survey of the 28-member organisation, representing businesses from law to personal finance, marketing to building services, and hospitality to office support, asked: “What impact do you think Brexit will have on your business?”
- “As a business adviser, Brexit will actually benefit us. Clents will seek our advice on its potential ramifications, and the implementation of new strategies to deal with it. Who says clouds don’t have silver linings?”
- “With change comes opportunities, but businesses that don’t react and change will wither, but that’s part of the business cycle. The next two to five years looks uncertain, but hasn’t the last five been pretty lumpy anyway? I think the future looks good.”
- “I see opportunity. Not because of Brexit, but in spite of it. Opportunity will always be there, so it is up to me to take the challenge and deal with what the marketplace is offering me.”
Other members were, however, more cautious…..
- “We have a number of clients from the EU who live and run their businesses in the UK. It will obviously be a source of concern for them regarding their continued domicile, but I strongly believe that the government will not use potential repatriation as a bargaining chip when negotiating our exit from the EU. Otherwise, I do not envisage that the majority of our clients will be overly affected in the long term.”
- “My clients are mainly small and medium enterprises, and some businesses they supply may cut back in the short term, making the potential trading position for my business more difficult.”
- It will affect the spending power of the public for a while, as they worry about the impact of a break from the EU. But it is too early to have a conclusion, as we are still in the EU, and will be for at least two years!”
There was a strong plea for the government to restore certainty…..
- “The only thing I can say with any certainty is that UNcertainty is bad for most businesses, so the sooner we know what is going to be the position the sooner we can adapt to it.”
- “Uncertainty has a significant impact on investment decisions. Some businesses are likely to defer non-essential investment decisions.”
- “Even if there is no downturn, there will be a period of extended uncertainty, and that is never good for business. I have already had two clients decide to defer investment in new assets until the climate is more certain. However, that said, the vast majority of clients have not reported any changes in their plans for the forthcoming year, so maybe I am being pessimistic. I really hope so.”
Wealden Business Group meets at The Little Silver Country Hotel, Tenterden for breakfast networking every Wednesday. Owner/managers of small and medium enterprises are invited to join by emailing Group secretary Dee Bateman at firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 07958 612937.