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“How SME’s Prepare for Post-Brexit Britain” – B2B lecture

Paul Nicholas, an Associate with SYLO Associates, recently attended the B2B lecture, ‘How SMEs should prepare for post-Brexit Britain’, which was sponsored by Unipart and Oxfordshire Business First.  The keynote speaker was Matthew Fell, Chief of Staff at the CBI and part of their senior leadership team.  Matthew has been with the CBI since 1999 and has held a number of roles covering a broad range of business sectors including manufacturing, small business, the digital and creative industries, and financial services.  He has significant experience of engaging with government and senior business leaders.

Matthew conceded that the CBI had not initially been in favour of Brexit but, since the Referendum, they have been at the heart of the Brexit debate, urging Government to act with greater urgency in Brexit talks in order to give clarity to companies that will need to trigger plans for the post-Brexit era, possibly including moving jobs and investment elsewhere.

He reported that in recent surveys, fewer than 40% of UK companies say that have a clear plan to drive their growth in the aftermath of Brexit and there is evidence of a growing pause in investment by the UK’s largest firms which has ramifications for smaller businesses further down the supply chain.

Matthew discussed the various issues surrounding Brexit – political, economic, social and technological, but he identified as being key to most businesses will be the ‘people issues’ including mobility, recruitment and retention.  While larger companies may have the time and resources to work through different post-Brexit scenarios concerning their business prospects and people plans, SMEs will find it more difficult to devote time and energy to address these potential problems.  The recently agreed proposal for a ‘transition period’ may help but, while huge uncertainties about the post-Brexit future still remain, now is the time for SMEs to start planning.

SYLO Associates are specialists in HR management so why not contact us and see how we can help you start planning for your future?

“Plan for the future because that’s where you are going to spend the rest of your life” (Mark Twain)