UK businesses 'still upbeat' despite Brexit fears

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UK businesses 'still upbeat' despite Brexit fears (image credit: iStock/Andrew F Kazmierski)

A significant majority of UK businesses remain upbeat about their prospects for the future despite the recent vote by the UK public for the country to leave the EU.

New research published by the Business Growth Fund (BGF) has highlighted the continued confidence of many UK business leaders, with 74 per cent of respondents to the organisation's latest Growth Climate Index stating their belief that Britain is still an excellent place to both start and grow a business.

Just 41 per cent of over 450 respondents to the poll said they had postponed or switched key business decisions in the run-up to the EU referendum - further showcasing the confidence that many companies have in the future.

Overall, the research showed that just over half (58 per cent) of UK business leaders currently believe the financial sector will be the worst affected in the years ahead by the UK's decision to leave the EU, while 16 per cent felt it would be the manufacturing industry and nine per cent pointed to the UK's construction businesses.

Whatever the case for leaving the EU though, the overwhelming attitude highlighted in the research was that the UK must now simply move on and make the best of the situation in which it finds itself - something that respondents to the survey felt would come naturally to the entrepreneurial leaders of the UK's top firms.

Stephen Welton, chief executive of BGF, commented: "Business leaders and entrepreneurs are clearly concerned about some of the implications of Brexit, but like me they remain positive about Britain as a place to do business.

"The fundamentals that make the UK so attractive to growing businesses have not disappeared, and businesses will continue to contribute to the economy and create jobs. BGF is committed to continuing to invest in the UK's most ambitious small and mid-sized businesses.

"However, we cannot wait for politicians to provide the answers. It is vital that business continues to make its voice heard to ensure that its priorities are high on the next government's agenda."

Mr Welton added that the most important thing to now remember is that Britain should not aim to become something new in its post-Brexit reinvention, but instead, the government and industry must focus on continuing to do what the nation does best.

Ensuring the UK remains a pro-enterprise country while retaining access to the European single market must now be a government priority for the months and years to come, Mr Welton surmised.