Election 2017: SMEs should keep calm and don’t panic

Businesses are used to facing a number of different challenges during day-to-day trading.

A supplier could let you down or a staff member could call in sick. An invoice could be paid late or, in the worst case, not at all. It is problems like these that are all part and parcel of the nature of business.

But what do you do when something happens nationally that is so momentous it cannot help but have an impact on your business?

That is the reality of what businesses in Sussex have been confronted with following the shock announcement by PM Teresa May last week to hold a snap election on 8th June.

Elections cause uncertainty

There can be no doubt that elections cause economic and consumer uncertainty, which in turn affects business and it does not matter what size of company you are.

The recent development from Teresa May has already had an impact; the Pound rallied on the news, but conversely the FTSE 100, London’s blue-chip index, dropped as companies had previously benefitted from a weaker pound post Brexit vote. Meanwhile, Ernst & Young has reported that the number of profit warnings across UK listed companies has risen in Q1 this year vs Q4 last.

Commenting on the shock election news, Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors, said: “Businesses have to get used to being buffeted by the changing winds of politics at the moment, and will just have to endure yet another campaign. This must be used as a chance to properly debate what leaving the EU means for the long-term future of the UK, including how we continue to bring in the skills employers need.”

And he added: “While Brexit will inevitably dominate the campaign, there are also much wider questions that need to be addressed on the changing nature of business and work, automation and our ageing society. These can’t be ignored in the run up to 8 June, and the business voice must be heard in this crucial discussion.”

Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said he understood the campaign will focus on the ‘intricacies of leaving the EU’ to the General Election, and he added: “Firms will want to be reassured that the key challenges facing the economy will be front and centre throughout any election period.”

In last year’s U.S. election one third of SMEs claimed uncertainty was having an impact on their business in a poll which was published in the Wall Street Journal.

Do not despair, help is at hand

But if you are a SME in East Sussex do not despair. Help is at hand thanks to the team here at Business East Sussex.

Our team of advisors and mentors have seen it all, from booms to bust and back again. They are on hand to help you grow your business with advice, planning and investigating how to find extra funding.

There are a LOT of options out there. From match funding for growth related projects to innovation funding to test new ideas.

The wider world might be experiencing anxiety and uncertainty, but there is no need for you to. You have Business East Sussex at your side should you need help in starting or growing your business. Why not give us a call today.