Nine of the main SME trade bodies will join together to amplify their voices as the slow process of exiting the EU begins. The FSB, along with 8 other organisations, issued the news at the end of last week, saying they would coordinate their efforts in the interests of offering positive reassurance to small businesses.
The organisations are: the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Enterprise Nation, National Enterprise Network, Open to Export, IPSE, The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales (ICAEW), British Library Business and IP Centre, and Coadec. According to Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation, the move is critical in order to maintain a clear, positive messages from the UK’s small businesses.
The news comes a few days after leaders from several of the organisations attended an emergency summit with business secretary Saijd Javid, where they were reassured that a plan would be in place to minimise the impact on business.
“It’s more important now than ever before for entrepreneurs to maintain optimism and look forwards, not backwards,” she said. “The worst thing we can do is talk ourselves into a recession when formal negotiations leading to exit will take at least two years.
“Inevitably there will be new opportunities – and there are things businesses can do to protect themselves from changes that might affect them in short term and in the future. We have come together to make sure small businesses can easily get hold of the information and advice they need during the current period of uncertainty.”
Simon McVicker, director of policy and external affairs at IPSE, meanwhile, focused on the importance of making sure SME voice is heard in the negotiations: “Now we are leaving the EU, IPSE believes the priorities should be new global trading arrangements, cutting burdensome regulation on small and micro businesses and ensuring that Britain has the most flexible and attractive economy in the world.”
Clive Lewis, head of enterprise at the ICAEW, said: “Whilst there have been no negotiations following the UK vote to leave the EU, the financial markets (currencies and stock exchanges) are already adjusting to the new situation. It is likely that foreign currency movements could affect small business trading position through either sales revenue or costs, so it is more important than ever to monitor financial performance.”