• Over half (51%) of business owners and small businesses expect revenues to increase in the next 12 months, only 15% disagree
  • Only a third of these businesses (36%) expect to lose access to the single EU market, the majority (64%) don’t
  • Over half of these businesses (55%) believe that the UK’s plan to independently forge its own trade agreements with other markets will not help boost activity

15 September 2016 – The UK’s business owners and small businesses are confident about their post-Brexit prospects, according to the September 2016 Owner Managed Business (OMB) Barometer from Bank of Cyprus UK.

Despite a sense of inevitable doom and gloom that followed the EU referendum decision, the latest OMB Barometer reveals that the vote to take Britain out of the EU has had little impact on UK business sentiment. More than half of business owners and small businesses (51%) expect revenue to increase in the next 12 months, with only 15% disagreeing with this. In line with the latest rises in some economic indicators, they are also confident in the UK economy at large, with 45% believing the UK economy is in a good shape, compared to only 28% who do not. The Brexit vote has also had little impact on decision making. Only 23% of small businesses are uncertain when it comes to making business decisions despite reports of uncertainty following the Brexit decision - in fact, half (50%) are certain when it comes to decision making.

The UK’s business owners and small businesses believe very little will change in terms of access to the single market and recruitment policy. Just over a third of these businesses (36%) expect to lose access to the single EU market, whereas the majority (64%) do not.

Two-thirds (66%) also think that Brexit will make no difference to their recruitment policy and only 13% feel that it will mean they struggle to recruit the right workers for their businesses.

As the UK Government prepares for negotiations with Brussels and on the back of a drive to forge trade agreements with other nations, the Barometer does, however, show that business owners and small businesses remain sceptical of the UK’s plan to independently forge its own trade agreements with other markets (e.g. China, India, the US and Australia). Despite the marked confidence amongst the UK’s business owners and small businesses, on average over half of these businesses (55%) believe that the UK’s plan to independently forge its own trade agreements with other markets will not help boost activity for them in five key areas: sales, export, commercial opportunities, customer base and talent pool.

Commenting on the research findings, Nick Fahy, Chief Executive of Bank of Cyprus UKsaid: “Despite the general post-Brexit blues, the UK’s business owners and small businesses remain optimistic about their prospects, which is very encouraging. In the weeks immediately following the EU referendum vote, the UK economy contracted due to uncertainty, but this is not the case for the nation’s vital bedrock of businesses - Britain’s independent high-street retailers, family businesses and shopkeepers.”

“It’s important that these businesses do not get left behind as we negotiate with the EU and try to achieve the very best deal. To do so would be short-changing not only the country’s enterprising small businesses, but also the UK economy.”

Some further data points from the report:

  • 53% of businesses believe that the UK’s plan to independently forge its own trade agreements with other markets will not help boost activity in sales
  • 58% of businesses believe that the UK’s plan to independently forge its own trade agreements with other markets will not help boost activity in exports
  • 53% of businesses believe that the UK’s plan to independently forge its own trade agreements with other markets will not help boost activity in commercial opportunities
  • 54% of businesses believe that the UK’s plan to independently forge its own trade agreements with other markets will not help boost their customer base
  • 59% of businesses believe that the UK’s plan to independently forge its own trade agreements with other markets will not help boost their talent pool

For further information please contact:

Alex Rowbottom, Mazar Masud or Callum Junor
Powerscourt
020 7250 1446
bankofcyprusuk@powerscourt-group.com

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