British firms are enjoying “business as usual” according to Peter Alderson
Peter Alderson, managing director of LDF, the UK’s largest independent finance provider to small businesses said things have been “extremely robust”.
He said: “The period after Brexit has been a bit like a phoney war.
“People have been waiting for something to happen but, aside from the slight slowdown in activity in July while people assessed what the vote meant for their firm, it really has been business as usual.
“January is usually the busiest time of the year for us, so we were a little concerned about the effect of Brexit.
“But there’s been no material slowdown. A lot of our clients aren’t exporters, but many are part of a supply chain.
“And in our industry, there is more competition than ever, with new entrants on a daily basis, and more finance options for SMEs than ever before.”
Prime Minister Theresa May was finally forthcoming about her plans for the country during a speech at Lancaster House last week.
Prime Minister Theresa May has finally detailed her Brexit plans
She silenced critics by laying out her vision post Brexit along with 12 priorities for the divorce proceedings from the EU ahead of Article 50 being triggered within weeks.
She said Britain would be leaving the single market – putting us in a similar position to the US, China and India.
For many business analysts, there were fears that it could prompt severe economic consequences.
But as businesses gear up to go it alone, without Europe’s long shadow hanging over them, many say the separation is already producing positive results.
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Writing in City AM, Mr Alderson added: “People are just getting on with it, but they’ll have to take a view once negotiations begin on whether they’ll be affected during that period.
“But 40 per cent of our clients are professional firms – accountants, solicitors. If anything, the effect for them will simply be that they’re much busier!”
The financial advisor said that he has seen an uptick in clients wanting business development loans – to finance new initiatives.
He believes Brexit is encouraging people to be more entrepreneurial and adds that he is seeing more interest now than at the same time last year.
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He said: “The signs are incredibly good. Our typical clients are sub-50 employee organisations, and they seem pretty buoyant about the future.”
Mr Alderson joins a growing chorus of UK businesses that believe that the country is heading in the right direction – away from Europe.
He praised the government’s efforts to open up access to to finance for small businesses.
He said: “I’m incredibly optimistic about the future, but there are things you can’t predict. That’s why our clients are just cracking on with business as usual.”