According to a recent survey by small business lender, Liberis, 62% of British SMEs voted to remain in the EU.
The survey asked over 500 UK small business owners how they voted in the 2016 EU Referendum and what effects Brexit has already had on their business. Since negotiations to leave the European Union began, 41% of those surveyed said that they have felt a negative impact due to Brexit. Product sourcing and services have been hit the hardest with 27% of businesses citing these areas a struggle since the leave vote.
SMEs voting to leave or remain
Almost two thirds of those surveyed said they voted to remain in the EU, with the IT, online and marketing sectors comprising 77% of this total – more than any other sector.
Of business owners who voted to leave the EU, retail was the sector who voted to leave the most at 17%, suggesting that access to the free market might not be as important to UK retailers.
According to the survey, the highest earning businesses with a turnover of over £1,000,000 a year voted to leave the EU more than any other, at 30%. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 60% of micro businesses, with a turnover of up to £50,000, voted to remain.
Negative Effects of Brexit
41% of those polled said that the triggering of Article 50 has had a ‘negative affect’ on their business. However, 54% revealed they haven’t felt any positive or negative effects on their business.
When asked which areas of their businesses have been negatively affected by the decision to leave, the majority, 47%, said “none of the above”, which included sales or leads, business relationships, bottom line, business development, product or service sourcing and hiring staff. However, 27% of SMEs surveyed said that product and service sourcing has suffered, with bottom line also being negatively affected by the referendum results at 24%.
Positive Effects of Brexit
When asked which areas of their business have been positively affected by Brexit- including sales or leads, business relationships, bottom line, business development, product or service sourcing and hiring staff- 76% said ‘none of the above’ have been positively affected, with only 12% saying sales and leads have benefited.
The survey also found that 65% of respondents don’t believe leaving the European Union will affect their business’ ability to hire staff.
Imports and exports at risk?
Businesses, who said they import and export, were split on how leaving the EU would affect their ability to source products, services or materials at a reasonable price with 52% assuming a negative impact