The effects of the Brexit vote on British business are so all over the place, it's still hard to tell if leaving the EU was a bad thing or not. The Close Brothers Business Barometer, a quarterly survey of UK SME owners and senior management in various industries and regions of the country, offers very interesting insights.
More than half (56 per cent) of those surveyed said they didn't feel any changes after Brexit results. More than a fifth (24 per cent) answered positively, and another 20 per cent said it was still early to tell. Out of those that had felt Brexit – 40 per cent have seen positive results, and 43 per cent negative. Another 17 per cent stayed pretty much the same as before.
“It’s clear that the majority of UK SMEs are yet to feel any real and tangible effect from Brexit,” said Neil Davies, CEO, Close Brothers Asset Finance. “It’s interesting to note that of those who have been impacted, it’s pretty much split down the middle in terms of those who have been positively and detrimentally affected.
“There is also a real regional difference, with businesses in London feeling the most exposed.” Another idea that's been thrown around lately is that businesses are delaying their spending because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. Turns out, it's not exactly true.
More than three quarters (76 per cent) have not delayed any spending, mostly in East Anglia, Wales and Northern Ireland. London has been somewhat reserved, with 48 per cent there saying they actually did delay spending.
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