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Manchester SMEs urged to make plans ahead of Brexit

Mark Hughes, chief executive of The Growth Company, has spoken to Insider about GC Business Growth Hub's Brexit toolkit. Read the article below

SMEs across Manchester are being warned not to stick their head in the sand with regards to Brexit and instead make plans to address any issues or concerns.

Mark Hughes – who has been chief executive of The Growth Company, which incorporates the Business Growth Hub, since 2013 – has spoken to Insider about the concerns being raised by thousands of small companies across the region as uncertainty surrounding the Brexit deal continues.

"They're faced with a confusing situation," he said. "They don't feel like there's a lot of good information and latterly there's been a lot of commentary around it being too late to act now on Brexit.

"It's those types of issues that we are trying to address. There is still time for companies to think about their plans and act on whether Brexit will or won't affect the business."

Hughes noted that proportionally, Greater Manchester exports "more of its goods to the EU than the country does as a whole".

"We do employ a lot of EU nationals in our businesses, so Brexit is going to be an issue for companies whether or not they trade with Europe," he added.

"In some respects, we can't alleviate the concerns purely because of the political situation. There's no silver bullet or easy way through this.

"However, that doesn't mean you should stick your head in the sand and think it's too complex. That's not being responsible and could damage your business."

Hughes concluded by warning SMEs not to panic.

"There's still time to speak to the Growth Hub, your trade association or an actual human being. You've got to plan and think about a 'no deal' scenario."

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