UK business groups unite to assuage small business fears over the vote to leave the EU

What does Brexit mean for your small business? Are you reasonably confident that ant new administration will negotiate the right sort of deal that will safeguard your long term future business prosperity, or are you worried that things may be about to unravel before your eyes? Well, if you are concerned then you are most definitely not alone, as many members of the small businesses and self-employed community have expressed deep concerns too. To assuage some of these concerns, a consortium of small business groups have come together and collaborated to offer their support and reassure the entrepreneurial community following the decision in last month’s EU referendum.

The consortium of business organisations includes Enterprise Nation, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the National Enterprise Network (NEA), Open to Export, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-employed (IPSE), The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) and Coadec. The stated aim of this business consortium is to provide positive support to small firms following the vote for Brexit and maintain business optimism.

So what will this consortium do and how will it work to assuage the fears amongst the UK’s small business community? Well, principally by providing advice and support. Enterprise Nation’s founder, Emma Jones, explained the rationale and purpose of the business support group:

“It’s more important now than ever before for entrepreneurs to maintain optimism and look forwards, not backwards.”

“The worst thing we can do is talk ourselves into a recession when formal negotiations leading to exit will take at least two years.”

“Inevitably there will be new opportunities and there are things businesses can do to protect themselves from changes that might affect them in the short term and in the future. We have come together to make sure small businesses can easily get hold of the information and advice they need during the current period of uncertainty.”

Mike Cherry, national chairman, of the Federation of Small Businesses, added his organisation’s support and insisted it will do whatever it can to help the Government and other negotiating partners to get ‘the best deal for them [SMEs] to do business’:

“At this week’s business summit chaired by business secretary, Sajid Javid, I stressed the need for immediate action to ensure economic stability, to ensure small businesses can continue to trade and do business,” he said

“Smaller firms need simple access to the single market, the ability to hire the right people, continued EU funding for key schemes and clarity on the future regulatory framework. When the negotiations start, [the]FSB will be a constructive partner and a strong voice, working with other entrepreneur groups and pushing for swift clarity on these crucial points,” he added.

His sentiments were echoed by Simon McVicker, the director of policy and external affairs, at the Association of Independent Professionals and Self Employed (IPSE), when he spoke about campaigning strongly for the best interests of the UK’s self-employed community to be sacrosanct in the UK’s long-term future outside the EU:

“Now we are leaving the EU, IPSE believes the priorities should be new global trading arrangements, cutting burdensome regulation on small and micro businesses and ensuring that Britain has the most flexible and attractive economy in the world,” he said.

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