Ian Smith, CEO of alternative lender 1pm plc, said: “What is missing from today’s report is a review of the potential impact on the UK economy for disrupted business continuity. For example, the processes of importing and exporting will undoubtedly be delayed and the age-old phrase, ‘time is money’ will be especially pertinent.
“The potential for a dip in business activity is huge during the potential adjustment period. There’s also uncertainty as to whether we’ll see the same levels of business we see now – for example, what if import prices are higher, delivery times longer or overhead costs permanently increased?
“SME business owners, in particular, should be taking steps to prepare. It’s not a time to panic, but the reality is that there’s only seven months to get ready. Take a realistic look at the impact to your business – such as what would happen if you were unable to import new materials for six months – and work out a contingency. Most importantly, now is the time to ensure your business has the working capital and cash flow funding to see it through this period of change, whatever that change may look like.
“The factual situation is that UK government wants to negotiate an orderly Brexit. The counter-factual is that it may fail and there will be no deal. UK businesses, whatever their direct or indirect exposure to EU trade, need to out-think that no-deal scenario now.”