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Majority of small firms do not expect to be impacted by Brexit

More than one in two small and medium enterprises (SMEs) say that they expect no impact from Brexit, according to the AIB SME Financial Services Monitor.

The positive outlook continues for SMEs that trade internationally, with more than three quarters – 76pc – of those surveyed more optimist for the future of their business in the next three to five years than the wider SME population (65pc). However, 35pc of SMEs are either already seeing a negative impact from Brexit, or expect the impact to be negative.

Among those experiencing or expecting a negative impact from Brexit, adverse currency fluctuations, business confidence and bureaucracy are rated as their main concerns.

Despite the concerns around Brexit, less than one in ten SMEs has a plan in place to address the potential impact of Brexit. “Despite the generally positive sentiment at this stage, businesses are looking for more support and guidance. Borders, tariffs and customs are now the critical unknowns as Brexit negotiations evolve,” Tom Hall, AIB’s head of customer treasury services, said.

The survey also confirmed the strong trade links between Irish SMEs and the UK, with 57pc of SMEs who export abroad exporting to the UK, while one in two SMEs that import goods importing from the UK.

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