At the time of writing, there are just 33 days until the end of the transition period. And whilst 2020 has been incredibly difficult for businesses across sectors, Brexit will wait for no company.
Research recently released from Aldermore found that 47% of SMEs who import goods and services from the EU have made no Brexit preparations, whilst 43% of small firms who export into the EU have yet to act either.
Group managing director of business finance at Aldermore, Tim Boag, commented on the findings that: “2020 has been an extremely difficult year for SMEs, as many have been profoundly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the Brexit transition period coming to an end on 31 December, businesses who trade with the EU now face a new set challenges, particularly if there is no-deal. Tariffs could be introduced on many imports and exports, which will have an impact on costs for businesses, and even if a trade deal is agreed there’s still likely to be significant changes to prepare for, such as additional checks and documentation on goods as required by both the UK and the EU.”
The average SME derives around 30% of their revenues from business and customers in the EU, and one in four small business owners say the think Brexit will worsen the economic trauma already faced in mitigating the pandemic. However, only 15% think there will be supply chain issues, despite some UK ports already struggling this winter to deal with Christmas demand.
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“Our research reveals that many SMEs are generally unprepared for Brexit or are delaying plans to address the impact until after the end of the transition period. Whilst the delay in preparing for Brexit is understandable given the ongoing impact of the pandemic, the potential wide-ranging effects of Brexit on many businesses means it’s crucial that SMEs begin to take steps to prepare,” Boag continued.
“Businesses should consult the Government’s guidance for SMEs post-Brexit and work out how VAT, tax and duty, and other regulatory changes will impact them and their supply chain. Aldermore has created a Brexit hub with key information for businesses to help SMEs best prepare for the transition and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”
If your business is one of the many who has yet to properly prepare for Brexit, now really is the time to act. At Go Exporting, we’ve developed a Brexit FastTrack service which will deliver a comprehensive Brexit impact review and transition plan for your business. Prices start from just £950 – find out more here.