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Manufacturers are the most polarised on Brexit

A survey of 900 SME business owners shows that nearly half have started planning for Brexit, but the manufacturing sector is the most split on whether they think they will benefit from Brexit or not.

The survey, commissioned by Close Brothers Asset Finance, revealed that 47 per cent of SMEs have started planning to counter potential supply chain disruption caused by Brexit.

This is particularly the case for larger SMEs, with the results showing that the larger the turnover, the more likely it is that plans are already either in place or are being formulated. Businesses in export-heavy sectors like engineering and manufacturing were also more likely to have already started planning.

When asked whether they thought their business would benefit or suffer from a reorganising of supply chain disruptions because of Brexit, 29 per cent said they would suffer, compared to 20 per cent saying they would benefit. Over half thought they would neither benefit nor suffer.

However, respondents in the manufacturing sector were by far the most polarised in their opinions, with just 6 percentage points separating those believing they would benefit (31 per cent), suffer (32 per cent) or neither (37 per cent).

Neil Davies, chief executive of Close Brothers Asset Finance, said: 

“In the absence of certainty, businesses have taken it upon themselves to assess the impact leaving the EU will have on the supply chain, which for many businesses exposed to Europe, is critical. 

“[But] it’s clear that the continued uncertainty means businesses have little idea of the impact a reorganisation will have – it’s not something they have ever had to deal with on this scale.”

EEF recently launched an online toolkit - including an exclusive ‘self-audit’ tool - to help manufacturers of all sizes navigate their way through the uncertain waters of Brexit.

GC Business Growth Hub is also here to provide support on how Brexit might impact your business. To find out how you can prepare for Brexit, get in touch with our enquiries team.

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