Recent publications from a variety of lenders have shown an upbeat and confident outlook from SMEs around exporting
smallbusiness.co.uk reported on 12th July that OFX.com had provided a very optimistic study from 500 SMEs around exporting. It found 62% were confident around doing business outside the UK. In January this year, Bibby Financial Services produced a comprehensive report, Trading Places, which showed only 37% of SMEs had felt some negative reaction from Brexit. In fact, 58% of exporters had felt no change. HMRC released figures to show the year ending March 2018 had seen an 8.2% rise in exports. All positive stuff and shows the resilience of our exporters within the UK.
Concern is prevalent and all these reports show a growing number who feel uncertain. In fact, one leading concern is the inability to fill vacancies. CIPD released figures showing 40% of employers had found it difficult to fill vacancies in the last 12 months. In August the CBI called for the UK government to actually scrap immigration targets.
Its clear businesses have survived GDPR and the best will adapt to the changing world, as they always have. Optimism among Britains best and bright will always remain. The undercurrent of a growing skills shortage will undermine that confidence. If the UK is unable to fill the skills it needs, even the most optimistic will find themselves coming up short.