Putting the politics to one side, it is important for businesses to have a contingency plan in place should the UK leave the EU.
The FSB continues to lobby for an Emergency Brexit budget, with National Chairman, Mike Cherry (pictured at FSB’s summer business reception) saying: “The very prospect of a sudden, chaotic no-deal Brexit is proving enough to have a sustained chilling effect on business output. That’s why the Government needs to intervene with an Emergency Brexit Budget that will take the heat off employers, support our high streets and push back premature tax changes.” FSB is pushing hard to get the economy back on track by securing a pro-business Brexit deal.
A recent conference at Gatwick Airport between East and West Sussex County Councils brought key stakeholders together to review planning for Brexit. Government speakers included Iain McNabb, Cities and Local Growth Unit , Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Ian Pursglove, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Hosted by the leaders of each Council, Keith Glazier for East Sussex and Louise Goldsmith for West Sussex, discussions centred on central government trade preparations especially in a no deal scenario and communications – what businesses need to know and where they can find more information. “With the proportion of businesses preparing for a Brexit scenario currently running at under 1 in 5, FSB encourages business owners to put time aside to get ready and have plans in place prior to the 31 October,” said Development Manager for Sussex, Martin Searle.
FSB in the south east is working with the Local Enterprise Partnership Growth hubs to signpost and highlight services. The FSB is currently reviewing its Small Business Brexit pack and both the South East Local Enterprise Partnership and the Coast to Capital LEP websites have useful information and guidance.
Government guidance and a helpful checklist can be found at www.gov.uk/Brexit together with a series of workshops provided by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. For exporters, the Department for International Trade have a series of workshops for exporters to enable businesses to create an action plan. There are upcoming events in the south east and you can book online. Members also can keep their eye on their inbox for FSB’s weekly business ‘bitesize’ newsletter, for further updates.