UK businesses confident in spite of Brexit uncertainties

54% of business leaders think access to the single market should be priority in the government's negotiations with the EU

74% of business leaders have argued that the UK is still a great place to start and grow a business despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to the Business Growth Fund’s (BGF) Growth Climate Index.

While 90% of of business owners said they expect the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) will result in a decline in economic growth in the short-term, they expect the outlook to eventually improve – only 41% are postponing key business decisions during the campaign period.

However, another 55% of those surveyed fear that economic growth will fall in the longer-term, with 76% of the impression that Brexit will cause a decline in investment.

Looking towards the impending negotiations, 54% felt that continued access to the single market should be prioritised, followed by attracting overseas businesses to invest or remain in the UK (22%), ensuring businesses can still hire top talent (10%) and reducing the regulatory burden on businesses (9%).

When asked about the impact of Brexit on specific sectors, 58% said the financial services will be hit hardest, followed by manufacturing (16%). and construction (9%).

The BGF also believes that now is “not the time for businesses to put the brakes on”. The private equity fund has been involved in three deals since the Brexit including a £5.3m investment into workplace management software firm Network Locum, providing £10m in funding for a merger between online pharmacies ChemistDirect and Pharmacy2U, and having made a £10m investment to support the acquisition of Tax Computer Systems.

Stephen Welton, chief executive of BGF, commented:

“The fundamentals that make the UK so attractive to growing businesses have not disappeared, and businesses will continue to contribute to the economy and create jobs. BGF is committed to continuing to invest in the UK’s most ambitious small and mid-sized businesses.”

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