With the UK’s exit from the EU on the horizon, business advisers James Cowper Kreston wanted to understand how, or if, its clients’ businesses had been affected.
Although Britain is not scheduled to leave the European Union until 2019, businesses have already begun to see changes since the decision was made last year. To find out exactly what these changes are, and whether or not they are beneficial, the firm surveyed its clients. With more than 100 respondents the results span companies from all sectors; however, the majority came from small to medium, privately-owned companies.
While some companies had seen a positive increase in income since the Brexit vote, many of those who completed the survey saw little or no change in any aspect of their business. The employment levels of 70% of respondents remained unchanged, as had the income levels of 50%.
However, the negative impact of Brexit, anticipated by many, was being felt by certain businesses. 44% of companies that completed the survey stated there had been a negative effect on costs while 28% documented adverse changes in their revenue.
These fluctuations, be they positive or negative, might not necessarily be a direct result of Brexit, said James Cowper Kreston.
The survey also asked participants what they thought the exit from the EU would bring in the years to come.
While the consensus was that company law was not expected to see any change, the majority of respondents predicted mainly negative consequences for other aspects of their business. 61% of companies foresaw either slightly negative or very negative results for the UK economy as a whole and 52% saw Brexit as having a considerably adverse results on inward investment in the coming years.
“The results of the survey were not really unexpected,” said Robert Holland, managing partner of James Cowper Kreston. “Although a number of immediate winners and losers have been identified, the full impact of the Brexit decision is still an unknown. But one thing is clear, the UK’s business community, particularly those in the Thames Valley, are resilient and will continue to flourish. We will make the most of what the decision to Brexit brings in the coming years.”