Stay or Leave? No clear vision for small businesses

For the most part, opinion polling has focused upon the voting intentions of individuals in the run up to 23 June, the apparent closeness of the two sides of the debate, the differing views on accuracy of online versus telephone methodologies and the significant win/lose impact on either side that could be generated by unlocking the significant proportion of undecided/don’t knows.  Perhaps it is the high level of undecided and insufficiently informed voters which tells us most about the country’s preparedness (or lack of) for a vote of such enormity.

With many Captains of Industry, politicians and even world leaders exhorting Britain’s voters to tick the Remain box, we have taken the opportunity to gauge the temperature of the water among small businesses (in our definition, with 2 – 50 employees) who comprise 85% of all companies in the UK and who will have to bear the brunt of whatever market conditions ensue as a result of next Thursday’s vote, whichever way it swings.

We surveyed 260 businesses for their views in two regards:

Do they feel that their business will fare better by staying in, or leaving the EU?

Would they personally favour staying in or leaving the EU?

Whilst we cannot claim that survey has the statistical robustness of the major consumer opinion polls, the results do make interesting reading.
With their business hats on,  one in four business owners feel ill-equipped to make a judgement on this issue: they clearly have not been exposed to the information or facts to inform their decision-making.

If this were just a personal decision, the balance of opinions match the recent consumer opinion polls closely  showing the equal balance between Leave and Remain camps and the importance of ‘turning’ the don’t knows into definite action.

For Small Businesses then, there is a need to present a strong, clear case for how their businesses will benefit by both the Remain and Leave camps. It is all to play for.  SMESME