While the Prime Minister was in Salzburg for Brexit talks with the EU, new research shows that if she fails only seven per cent of small businesses in the North West have started planning for a no-deal scenario.
The Federation of Small Businesses’s study shows that 41 per cent believe that a no-deal Brexit will have an impact on their business but haven’t yet started planning for the possibility.
Seven per cent believe that a no deal Brexit will have a positive impact on their ability to do business but 38 per cent believe the opposite.
And 35 per cent of small businesses say they would postpone major business decisions or innovations, while 21 per cent say they would cut staff or spendinge.
FSB national chairman, Mike Cherry, (inset) said: “Looking at this research it is obvious that our small firms are not prepared or ready for a chaotic no deal Brexit and the impact that it will have on their businesses.
“If you sell your products to the EU, buy goods from the EU or if your business relies on staff from the EU, you now see this outcome as a clear and present threat to your business.
“It is deeply troubling that the prospect of a no deal Brexit is seeing many small firms shelving business decisions, pausing investment and more drastically, thinking about cutting staff. These businesses are the growth engines of the UK economy and it is critical that the Government listen to their worries.
“At this stage, it is understandable that some small businesses haven’t starting preparing as they aren’t actually aware of what they are planning for. What we need now is the Government to work with the small business community to ensure that they are adequately prepared and supported if a no deal Brexit becomes a more likely outcome in the coming weeks.
“The concern is that with only six months to go before exit day, we are now in a race against the clock to avoid a situation where we crash out of the EU causing significant damage to our smallest businesses. This must be avoided at all costs”