Are international markets the key for UK SMEs to grow post-Brexit?

According to research published by Key Cities, as a result of the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU) small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are taking advantage of global business opportunities.

The survey highlights that despite concerns over the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU; many businesses are optimistic and are considering new markets to drive future growth.

Figures revealed that 45 per cent of businesses believe that growth will be attained through opportunities within international markets rather than domestic business activity (39 per cent).

Also, more than half of businesses believe exporting activities will be unchanged by Brexit. This is particularly pertinent, as Key Cities contains some of the fastest growing economies in the UK, and are home to around 250,000 manufacturing jobs.

The research reveals that the manufacturing sector is likely to be one of the most resilient following Brexit, with 56 per cent of companies stating that their exporting activities will remain unchanged.

Other sectors that are due not to change post-Brexit include; real estate (64 per cent), IT and telecommunications (61 per cent) and the legal sectors (60 per cent).

Encouragingly, just under a third of business owners are not concerned about any business costs increasing following Brexit.

The main concerns about business costs increasing include the following: the core considerations are rising levels of bureaucracy (18 per cent) and supply chain costs (15 per cent).

The rise in tax and interest rates were also emphasised as relevant factors. Perhaps to be expected, issues around rising levels of bureaucracy were particularly high among businesses with a £1 million + turnover (22 per cent).