Whichever way you turn, Brexit is the main news item. You can’t switch on the news or open up your news app without seeing a story about Britain leaving the EU, and unfortunately, most are negative.
However, much of the discussion seems to be about the impact on big business: the fears of big banks moving to the continent, of curbs on immigration affecting labour needs, and of uncertainty inhibiting investment. Everyone seems to have forgotten about small businesses!
This seems bizarre when you consider that, according to the FSB, 99.9% of all private sector businesses are SMEs, and they employ 60% of private sector workers. Collectively, they amount to 47% of private sector turnover in the UK. (http://www.fsb.org.uk/media-centre/small-business-statistics) Smaller businesses were also more likely to back Brexit in the June referendum. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/05/this-is-why-businesses-back-brexit/)
Yet, much of the narrative is focussed on big business. This is understandable. In a crowded ocean, you notice the larger sharks and whales. However, there seems to be little publicised about the impact of Brexit on SMEs, negative or positive. What about the foreign direct investment into smaller start-ups? What about what a new regulatory regime favourable to small businesses and innovation might look like? What about the status of EU migrants who have started small, owner-run businesses? How will free trade deals with the rest of the world impact on SMEs?
We hope there is some shift in the narrative soon, and the voice of SMEs across the whole country will be heard.