September 30, 2019 @ 14:55 by Richard Dawson
New research from UK-wide telecommunications provider, Onecom, reveals that eight out of ten SMEs expect their income to fall because of Brexit.
One in three said the ongoing political crisis could force them to rethink their recruitment plans and one in four expects to have to reduce the overall size of their workforce.
Almost 15 per cent went further to suggest that the fall-out from leaving the European Union without a deal could put the survival of their business at risk.
The nationwide survey also looked at other sources of stress and found that the three biggest concerns for small businesses were business rates (72 per cent), late payments (66 per cent) and access to finance (61 per cent).
It is thought that the rise in fear over business rates is the result of their revaluation in 2017. Many shops, pubs, restaurants, factories and offices have felt increased financial burden since then.
In addition to these findings, some 56 per cent of SMEs are worried about an inability to recruit top talent.
Ben Dowd, Onecom CEO, said: “Work can be difficult at the best of times but it can be made more difficult when facing pressures from challenges beyond your control, such as Brexit.
“Many small business owners have also seen a significant increase in their operating costs since the last revaluation of business rates, while the scourge of late payments threatens to damage growth prospects of affected businesses.
The telecoms industry is responding to these pressures by offering opportunities to our clients to lease hardware and take out finance options.
“SMEs account for a massive percentage of the UK’s 5.7 million private sector businesses and are therefore vital to a healthy economy and jobs market.
“That’s why it’s so important that we support our small businesses with leading technology solutions and a variety of choice to help future proof their business comms and make them as efficient as they possibly can be.”