Research: Brexit fears to blame for business closures and the risk of over 1.4m jobs

Britain’s small businesses have been downsizing or stagnating since the last election, according to a new study, which also identifies Brexit fears as the main reason for businesses planning to cease trading in the next five years.

With the average small businesses employing just over four employees, a new study projects that over 1.4 million jobs may be at risk as an extrapolated 363,000 small businesses plan to stop trading in the next five years.

This according to a survey commissioned by business for sale marketplace Bizdaq, which also revealed a further 510,000 business owners plan on selling in the next five years.

The survey found Brexit uncertainty is the leading cause of business closures for young business owners, with 35 per cent of young entrepreneurs (respondents aged 18 to 34) exiting their business because of Brexit. This figure dropped to 9 per cent in 35 to 54 year olds, and just 3 per cent for small business owners aged over 55, showing older generations aren’t as concerned by the vote to leave.

“It’s clear that small business owners are undecided on the impact of leaving the EU, however the startling fact that our youngest entrepreneurs are most nervous paints a worrying picture,” Sean Mallon, CEO of Bizdaq, said.

“I recently wrote to the small business minister, Margot James, to ask what the government is doing to help small business owners and their employees on this matter and disappointingly the answer was very little. In fact, I was told “this activity is best left to the private sector to decide what to do” on this topic.”

With the General Election drawing closer, small business owners are clear on who they want in power. 37 per cent said they plan to vote Conservative, with just 19 per cent voting Labour and 11 per cent voting Liberal Democrat.

Labour’s small business support has eroded significantly following the last election, with the party losing 109,000 small business votes as Labour’s support has dropped from 21 per cent. According to the Bizdaq survey, these votes seemingly transferred to the Conservatives as their support grew by 2 per cent following the last election.

“With 1.4 million jobs at risk, and a little awareness around the preservation of great businesses and the jobs they create, I would suggest the government should be driving this agenda,” Mallon added. “Given the government’s continued campaign for job creation, it’s amazing so little is being done to preserve the number of existing jobs at risk within Britain’s small businesses.”

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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