How could a further six months of uncertainty affect SMEs & investors?
12/04/2019 - EISA
Mark Brownridge, Director General of the Enterprise Investment Scheme Association, comments on the delay:
“It’s chaotic at the moment. With the political backdrop we are currently experiencing, how can any business plan for the future? What SMEs need to thrive is certainty. Uncertainty breeds fear and a reticence to expand and that’s what we will see more of with the latest delay. We will now almost certainly see a slow-down in the economy that could have been easily avoided.
If the markets and the economy know what the issues are, they can react and solutions are put in place to counter them but with the current Brexit calamity all bets are off. We are entering uncharted waters and anyone who tells you they know how this will play is lying.
However, once certainty is secured small businesses have a fantastic opportunity to take advantage of the changes that Brexit will bring, due to the fact that they are small, nimble and highly adaptable.”
Luke Davis, CEO and Founder of IW Capital, discusses the impact of the outcome on investment:
“Small businesses in the UK are undoubtedly hoping for increased certainty over the Brexit deal and leaving date. Once the deal is confirmed the sentiment to push on with business will really be able to take off. As entrepreneurs and investors look to capitalise on new opportunities that are bound to exist after Brexit. Over the last year or so, we have seen a concerted effort to get on with business, regardless of Brexit and the eventual outcome.
One thing that we need to ensure is that entrepreneurs and investors looking to start or support a small business are not put off by the turmoil in Parliament. At IW Capital, we have experienced record deal flow and buoyant investor confidence. What Brexit ends up looking like will not affect the fantastic range of innovative, growing SMEs we work with that are likely to drive our private sector forward.”
Jenny Tooth OBE, CEO of the UK Business Angels Association, shared her views on what the delay could mean for regional businesses:
“As negotiations continue to drag on and eat into the transition period, which was put in place to help business prepare for the imminent loss of EU support, we are at risk of running out of time to plan and make changes. Funding for SMEs in the regions has been somewhat forgotten about recently. This will subsequently impact regional SMEs more than larger businesses that can take the hit, or areas such as London or the Golden Triangle which receive the majority of domestic investment.
The potential loss of investment from the continent including the European Regional Development Fund, Horizon 2020 and the Jeremie fund could create a huge investment gap in UK. This is concerning not only for the loss of EU money, but the risk that Government support for finance to replace this EU funding may take time to have an impact on the ground.”