Publications Reports Research UK

Family Businesses Unfazed By Brexit

From a survey of 100 family business owners, research has revealed that more than three quarters (82%) are optimistic that the UK is strong enough to be independent in the future

This latest research from Shakespeare Martineau shows the level of optimism amongst family firms is significantly higher than any other type of business surveyed.

Overwhelmingly, the view shared by most of those surveyed was that Brexit will inevitably happen in some way, shape or form but it is a hurdle that will be dealt with just like the other obstacle that family businesses encounter.

Despite the confidence to tackle the changes posed by Brexit, family businesses recognised the challenges that the future holds. Two thirds (67%) state that losing access to the single market will be detrimental to business operations, in particular due to the rising cost of imports.

Family businesses are calling for a reduction in red tape to stimulate growth and encourage investment in the UK on a local and national scale, with 75% agreeing it will be crucial to future economic success. Additionally, recognising the need to bridge the skills gap post-2019, 59% of family businesses stated that maintaining a flow of workers into the UK would be essential.

Duncan James, head of family business at law firm Shakespeare Martineau, said: “With family businesses representing almost two thirds of the private sector and just over 25% of the UK economy, they play a crucial role in the future prosperity of the nation and being able to navigate and use Brexit to their advantage will most certainly stand them in good stead.”

“Above all else, this research has shown the steely determination and confidence of local family businesses to just get on with the job in hand. They understand the challenges that lie ahead and will approach Brexit in the same way as other obstacles they face – through grit, determination, honest and frank communications and keeping their finger on the pulse of upcoming changes.”

“However, our research does indicate that family businesses are the least likely segment of the UK business community to have analysed their trading possibilities or audit their workforce requirements. It is essential that scenario planning must take place now in order to ensure a smoother transition and a readiness to react in future.”

John Redwood, chief strategist at Charles Stanley, said: “The outlook for the world economy is good. All the main Central Banks and governments want to promote more growth. Technology is driving enormous change that presents many opportunities. Charles Stanley remains positive about the outlook and thinks there are good investment possibilities. At the current level of sterling there are particular opportunities for growing family businesses to substitute home goods and services for imports, or to export themselves.”



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