Businesses are now scrambling to keep up with the latest Brexit developments as the UK heads towards a general election.
With the Brexit leave date now extended until January 31 and rising political uncertainty, many SMEs are facing havoc with last-minute plans in preparation for UK’s EU departure. And it’s no surprise workers have to pick up the slack. A shocking study has revealed that Britain has shown no growth in productivity over the past few months.
The UK has shown 0% growth in the three months leading up to September 2019, according to statistics by the Office of National Statistics. Labour productivity for Quarter 3 of 2019 remained the same with no growth compared with the same time period last year.
The alarming figure goes to show how political uncertainty is having a massive effect on businesses in the UK, and according to the FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry, it is vital SMEs are given more tools to cope during this period.
“Months of uncertainty have done nothing to help small businesses which have been struggling under the weight of rising costs, soaring business rates and continued difficulties in the economy,” he said. “It’s critical that the next Government gives the economy a much needed shot in the arm by investing in new infrastructure such as broadband and 5G networks, giving small firms the best tools available to flourish.”
Mr Cherry suggested using innovative ways to increase productivity through further research and development, allowing SMEs to become more efficient in long-run.
“In order to increase productivity, it’s vital that we encourage new innovations through R&D. This can be done through making the tax credit system as well as the Patent Box tax relief, more accessible to small firms who innovate which would be a big step forwards as small businesses, are likely to lack dedicated R&D and accounting departments,” he added. “Small firms are the backbone of the UK economy and this is why it’s more important than ever that they are given the support needed to invest, grow and succeed.”
The economy has bore the brunt of Brexit uncertainty, facing its weakest growth in a decade. As uncertainty continues to plague the markets, it is important the government steps up to assess how SMEs will be affected and what they can do to reverse the potential damage.