Small businesses
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Small businesses have been issued with guidance on how to prepare for Brexit amid increasing fears SMEs are not ready for a no-deal.

UK Finance – the trade body for the UK’s banking and financial services sector – has urged businesses to speak to their banks about extra finance as soon as possible and consider the impact of potential changes to trade arrangements.

It said the industry had the capacity to support businesses “whatever the outcome.”

Firms have also been told to capitalise on the opportunities of Brexit to maximise growth in an online guide published this morning.

Earlier this month Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned that half of UK businesses were not ready for a no-deal Brexit, according to it various recent surveys.

As uncertainty around Brexit looks certain to go down to the wire, UK Finance has issued guidance for SMEs on how to prepare for Britain’s departure from the EU.

The campaign has also been backed by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

“The banking and finance industry has the capacity to support viable businesses whatever the outcome,” UK Finance chief executive Stephen Jones said.

“Any business customers who may have additional financing requirements should begin engaging with their provider now, as the earlier they do so the easier it will be,” he added.

The online guide lists sector specific information hubs to help firms develop contingency plans and provides details on how each bank has committed to help firms around Brexit uncertainty.

Businesses that don’t export or import directly have also been urged to check with customers and suppliers to pre-empt any changes.

FSB chairman Mike Cherry said: “With less than 40 days to go until the UK leaves the EU on 29 March, it’s important for small businesses to prepare for the pressures that may well affect them, especially if we end up with a no-deal Brexit on that date.

He added: “As part of that preparation, we recommend that small business owners and the self-employed talk to their banks or other finance providers as they may well need help to extend overdrafts, seek extra finance or secure extra flexibility for repayment plans.”

Source: City AM

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