Coadec is among a cohort of small business representative groups that have joined forces to offer a consistent line of support to startups, small firms and the self-employed following the EU referendum.
In a meeting on 28 June, we agreed to coordinate our efforts in the interests of offering positive reassurance to small businesses.
We’ve joined Enterprise Nation, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), National Enterprise Network (NEA), Open to Export, Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-employed (IPSE), The Entrepreneurs Network (TEN), and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales (ICAEW) in working together to offer ideas around what business owners should be doing now to shore up their firm for the future.
Romilly Dennys, Executive Director of Coadec, said: “We are focused on supercharging our efforts to champion UK start-ups and the digital economy. We will work closely with tech founders across the UK to deliver a strong policy voice to government, and ensure digital startups play a leading role in shaping our future.”
Emma Jones, founder of Enterprise Nation, said: “It’s more important now than ever before for entrepreneurs to maintain optimism and look forwards, not backwards.
“The worst thing we can do is talk ourselves into a recession when formal negotiations leading to exit will take at least two years.
“Inevitably there will be new opportunities and there are things businesses can do to protect themselves from changes that might affect them in the short term and in the future. We have come together to make sure small businesses can easily get hold of the information and advice they need during the current period of uncertainty.”
Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: “FSB will work with government and other partners to ensure the UK’s 5.4 million smaller firms get the best deal for them to do business. At this week’s business summit chaired by business secretary Sajid Javid, I stressed the need for immediate action to ensure economic stability, to ensure small businesses can continue to trade and do business. Smaller firms need simple access to the single market, the ability to hire the right people, continued EU funding for key schemes and clarity on the future regulatory framework.
“When the negotiations start, FSB will be a constructive partner and a strong voice, working with other entrepreneur groups and pushing for swift clarity on these crucial points.”
Simon McVicker, director of policy and external affairs at IPSE, said: “Now we are leaving the EU, IPSE believes the priorities should be new global trading arrangements, cutting burdensome regulation on small and micro businesses and ensuring that Britain has the most flexible and attractive economy in the world.”
Clive Lewis, head of enterprise at ICAEW, said: “Whilst there have been no negotiations following the UK vote to leave the EU, the financial markets are already adjusting to the new situation. It is likely that foreign currency movements could affect small business trading position through either sales revenue or costs, so it is more important than ever to monitor financial performance.”
Dawn Whiteley, chief executive of the National Enterprise Network, said: “The members of National Enterprise Network have supported many hundreds of thousands of people thinking about or already running a business over the past 30 years. They’ve worked with their clients through good economic times and bad and whilst this is undoubtedly unchartered water for us all our membership is nonetheless looking to ensure all the clients they are working with have the best possible opportunity to survive and thrive no matter what!
“The key is to look for those opportunities wherever they may be, but support and advice will be key in ensuring small businesses can compete on home soil and abroad irrespective of any Brexit negotiation deals and we will be looking to government to ensure that support is in place.”
Philip Salter, founder of The Entrepreneurs Network, said: “In the short term, political uncertainty is a cost to British businesses and in the medium to long term reduced access to the Single Market could displace economic activity. This referendum was a vote on whether we should stay in the European Union, not an election upon which we elect a party based on manifesto policies.
“As such, The Entrepreneurs Network is calling on the current and next government to strike a deal that’s best for Britain, and that means causing as little damage as possible to the free movement of goods, capital and people, which means staying in the Single Market.”
Detailed advice will be shared by all parties to ensure consistent information is freely available in the public arena.