14 Feb What will Brexit really mean for Local businesses ?
The question circling every entrepreneur or investors mind in the UK is what will BREXIT mean for them and their businesses. Ofcourse how this will affect you depends very much on what sector you are in, who you employ and if you have and import or export operations.
In 2014 there were about 3 million people living in the UK who were citizens of another EU country. 80% of them were in work but their employment status post-Brexit remains unclear. It is possible that many will have to leave unless work permits can be attained in accordance with post Brexit legislation. This could mean all your workforce from around the EU might not be able to work.
Where do you get your funding from ?! While EU funding will no longer be available, the UK government may initiate similar post-Brexit funding schemes in their place. But a Brexit may affect the economy so that UK borrowers will pay a higher price for credit.
The lowdown is this, certain sectors will suffer more than others so will pulled in three industry heavweights from three different nationalities and trades who are currently running busiesnesses in the UK and this is what they had to say.
Deborah St. Louis the director at Fashions Finest who is a British native told us
“ For me as a business owner of a fashion company I do rely on international relations. I feel the Brexit vote is divisive but I don’t want to dwell on it either. The decision has been made and we need to look forward, plan and work on the best possible results under these circumstances. We are still in uncertainty as to what changes will be implemented and how soon. That being said I do expect import and export fees to rise and we have already noticed prices going up. I work with a lot of upcoming designers and run the Fashion Finest (independent trade show) and the Britain’s Top Designer Award. We are passionate about designers internationally and particularly the homegrown emerging brands who are faced with rising costs in an already challenging and competitive industry. It is important to support our homegrown talent from emerging fashion designers to small to medium companies to meet the challenges head on as country but still within the spirit of inclusiveness that England is known for around the world.”
“We don’t know what is going to happen. What I do know change is inevitable and I believe whatever the decision the country as a whole will always face challenges and so will businesses. The nature of my business means that have the best of the their field working on my premises which I have sourced from around the world. Brexit will not change this and while I don’t expect many obstacles, if any, I do believe there will be solutions. What the past year has shown us is that we as a people need to pay attention and be actively involved in our politics, making our views and opinions heard and our votes count. For this we need to use and create any opportunity possible for dialogue and influence. We can no longer remain complacent.”
Melanie Jones, Publicist and Owner of Melanie Jones PR told us
“As a EU national I have been keenly following news. I think after Brexit and Trump nothing surprises me anymore. I do believe that much of the scaremongering has affected the usually critical and logical thinking in the UK. One of the topics suggests the country becoming more racist for example. I do not believe this to be true. I think some of the attitudes secretly held became more apparent and some may have felt condoned through the vote. However I have come to know and love the UK as a melting pot since my childhood when I visited family here in the summer. Growing up I remember more of a community spirit than in any other city and the warm greetings and banter of the typical English at the market to the impeccable and polite service at Harrods when my mother took us there to buy gifts. I believe this is still there and when not buying into the fueling of the fear from some – not all – media, this is what we need to reconnect with. It is the only way to overcome the challenges now faced.
Of course I am preparing myself in the meantime keeping abreast of any legalities affecting my business and personal affairs. As a German I unfortunately don’t have as much influence but the influence I do have I utilise. Recent events have shaken everyone and I believe now that the wheels have been set in motion the people of this country whether of a migrant background of the first or whatever generation as well as the British will find a way to what their do best: making the best of it. Not losing what the UK is known for: the international feel of the that sits in a beautiful juxtaposition with the quintessential British-ness.”
There is no doubt that a Brexit would affect small businesses but to what extent depends largely on the outcome of negotiations that would come afterwards.