What has Brexit Really Meant for the UK’s Private Sector?

13th January 2017
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As it nears seven months since the EU referendum vote, a number of new research reports have come to light examining exactly how the UK’s private sector has responded to the Brexit result.

Firstly, a survey of 1,300 UK companies by Company Check at the terpd of last year revealed that over 50% felt that Brexit has had no effect on them yet. Furthermore, 30% said the uncertainty Brexit prompted had caused them some problems, while 15% of respondents said that the EU referendum result had benefitted them in the following six months.

Another piece of research paints an even more positive picture of the resilience of British businesses; Opus Energy’s Brighter Business report quizzed 500 SME decision makers, finding that 29% of respondents felt more confident about the future of their business after the EU referendum than they did before the vote on 23 June. This exceeds the 22% of respondents whose confidence dropped after the Brexit decision.

Perhaps the most interesting research comes courtesy of SyndicateRoom. The online equity investing platform found that despite 71% of UK retail investors aged between 18 and 30 voting to remain in the EU, 53% are more likely to invest following the referendum result. This mirrors IW Capital’s own research conducted in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, which found that 52% of UK investors would consider backing SMEs through private investment channels in the current climate, with this figure rising to 70% among investors aged 18-34.

The various pieces of research from recent months deliver a consistent underlying message that the UK’s SMEs and private investors are remaining resilient and confident in the wake of the EU referendum. This is something both government and industry must take advantage of, ensuring the SME investment landscape is adequately supported through education and awareness so small businesses can receive the vital growth investment they require.

Article 50 – the clause that will officially commence the two-year separation process between Britain and the EU – is expected to be triggered at the end of March. When PM Theresa May does so, the UK will gain greater clarity over exactly what the country’s future will look like independent from the EU. With private sector optimism high as we enter 2017, clearer direction will enable investors and businesses to pursue their respective strategies for the year ahead without undue fear of the unknown.

With the 2017/18 tax year commencing in April, now is an ideal time for British taxpayers to begin planning their new financial strategy for the coming 12 months. To find out how the Enterprise Investment Scheme can be used to support your financial strategy and Britain’s bustling community of SMEs, download a copy of our company brochure here.