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Brexit: UK SMEs beginning to better understand impact

  • 56% of business owners feel Brexit has made it more difficult to trade with the EU
  • 61% of SMEs had to ‘make arrangements’ to prepare for Brexit
  • A third of firms have found it more difficult to accessing supplies and goods from the EU

The impact of Brexit is becoming clearer for the UK’s SMEs, according to the latest research* from Close Brothers Business Finance, with the results showing Britain’s exit from the EU has caused business costs to increase for four in ten UK SMEs - and for a further 56% to express concern about the impact Brexit is having on their firm’s usual trading.

Further results indicate that 39% of respondents’ ability to import goods from the EU had been impacted, while for exports the figure was 33%.  

Brexit continues to resonate around the UK’s business landscape, and will do for the foreseeable future,” said Ian Aitchison, Managing Director, of Close Brothers Business Finance. “What we’ve found is access to goods and services from, and to, the EU is causing the biggest headaches with levels of some stock causing issues.

“That being said, many firms don’t have much of a reliance on the EU and have subsequently not felt the same impact as others, meaning it’s a very mixed picture out there, dependent primarily on which sector you’re in.”

The full results of the latest results are available for download on our free-to-use our SME Data Hub.


*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a Kantar survey conducted in mid-April 2021. The survey canvassed the opinion of over 900 SME owners across the UK and Ireland and across several industries on a range of issues affecting their businesses.