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SMEs fearing Brexit-induced income drop, says Onecom research

Jasper Hart
September 23, 2019

One in four expect reduction in workforce

Eight out of 10 UK SMEs expect their income to fall because of Brexit, according to new research commissioned by Onecom.

The research, carried out by market consultancy Consumer Intelligence on Onecom’s behalf, surveyed 208 business owners, workers and self-employed individuals about their key business concerns and stress levels.

Nearly a third (30 per cent) said that Brexit concerns could force cutbacks in their recruitment plans, and a quarter expect that Britain leaving the EU will see them reduce their overall workforce size.

Just six per cent expected work stress levels to fall over the next two years.

The highest business concern among those polled was business rates, which were revalued in 2017 for the first time since 2010. More than 70 per cent of SMEs were concerned about the effect this was having on its operating costs.

Onecom CEO Ben Dowd said: “Many small business owners have 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 99.9% of the UK’s 5.7 million private sector businesses and are therefore vital to a healthy economy and jobs market. It’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.”

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