May 6, 2015, by Kelly Cookson
How concerned are SMEs about the outcome of the 2015 General Election?
With the impending General Election on 7th May, the April 2015 Business Barometer survey asked our panel of UK SMEs and business advisers about the possible impact of the General Election on their business prospects.
The UK’s EU membership is one of the hot topics debated by the various parties during their campaigns, and we asked how the uncertainty surrounding this issue would impact their business planning.
The responses from small business owners were as follows:
|To what extent are you concerned about how the outcome of the General Election will affect your business prospects in the future?|
|Very great extent||9.1%|
|Very little extent||12.1%|
|Is the current uncertainty surrounding the UK’s EU membership having a negative effect on your business planning?|
|It is having no effect||59.1%|
|It is having some negative effect||31.8%|
|It is having a substantial negative effect||3.0%|
Panellist D. Wood of Active Sound Control Ltd commented on the possible impacts of the election: “Over the past five years we have seen a gradual improvement in the economy in the UK – frankly if the Labour Party / SNP take over we would regress six years.”
UK business advisers were asked about the possible impact of the General Election on the business activities of their clients:
|To what extent are the businesses that you advise concerned about how the outcome of the General Election will affect their business prospects in the future?|
|Very great extent||6.9%|
|Very little extent||8.0%|
|Is the current uncertainty surrounding the UK’s EU membership having a negative effect on the business planning of your clients?|
|It is having no effect||47.1%|
|It is having some negative effect||35.6%|
|It is having a substantial negative effect||9.2%|
Commentator John Burns of Wigan Metropolitan Development Co. Ltd, highlighted businesses’ current concerns: “Businesses are more concerned about Non Domestic Rate (NDR) increases and red tape effectively costing many man hours and ultimately profit and loss. Whoever enters number 10 must recognise the impact NDRs have on micro businesses and SMEs.”
One advisor commented on small businesses’ placing little importance on the issue of the UK’s EU membership: “My clients are small businesses, and they feel there is very little difference between the main parties now. They are mostly trading only in the UK, so EU membership is not particularly important to them from a business perspective.”
Inversely, another commenter suggested that businesses would be negatively affected should the UK leave the EU: “Several businesses are major exporters to Europe. Most believe that in an in/out vote the uninformed British public is likely to vote “out”, which could be disastrous for exports.”
The UK Business Barometer and UK Business Adviser Barometer surveys are run by the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The results of the surveys are instantly processed and posted on their respective websites: www.ukbb.ac and www.ukbab.ac
Businesses and advisers wishing to contribute as panellists on the project can register via the websites.