More than a third of small and medium-sized companies in the North East think business will be worse off because of Brexit.
New YouGov research, conducted by the Telegraph, asked small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region to consider what impact leaving the EU will have on business in 2019.
More than a fifth (22%) of SMEs in the North East believe business will be “somewhat” worse off, while 15% think business will be “significantly” worse off.
Just 4% of SMEs in the North East think business will be better off overall because of Brexit.
While the lack of a clear deal on the UK’s departure from the EU has left companies in the North East struggling to navigate the uncertainty of Brexit, one bank in particular is providing support to SMEs throughout negotiations.
Yorkshire Bank is a UK bank that understands the needs and challenges of UK business and has supported SMEs and their growth for over 150 years.
Gavin Opperman, Group Business Banking Director at Yorkshire Bank (above), said: “There are a series of potential headwinds. With Parliament in deadlock over Brexit, businesses have little clarity on what awaits them after March 29. This has made planning challenging, and we have seen our customers adopting a ‘wait and see’ attitude.”
The business attitudes towards Brexit seen across the North East mirror a national trend, with 39% of UK SMEs agreeing the overall impact will make them worse off.
Alongside Brexit, North East SMEs are anticipating other changes in 2019. More than one in every seven (15%) in our region say they are likely to increase investment in new technology this year. But cost is an important factor.
More than half (57%) of SMEs across the UK say that price would prevent them from adopting new technologies, and four in every 10 in the North East agree.
But Yorkshire Bank recognises that technology is integral for SMEs.
Opperman said: “Our new Business Internet Banking will soon integrate with a money management tool to give customers cashflow forecasting, benchmarking and financial analysis tools, all of which will empower SMEs and allow them the space they need to focus on growing their enterprises.”
Support is a key issue for SMEs in our region, and just over a third (36%) saying their professional support network is “good” or “ very good”. A further 9% say their professional support is “poor” or “very poor”.
That isn’t an issue for SMEs who with Yorkshire Bank, though.
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Opperman added: “The relationship-based approach we take to business banking with our customers across a broad spectrum of business sizes ensures that we remain close to SMEs and understand the individual hurdles they are faced with.”
Brighter Connections is a Northern-based IT group with clients in the North East region, and has experienced Yorkshire Bank’s support first-hand.
Founder Darren Stringer said: “With Yorkshire Bank’s help we are now three companies strong.
“Brighter Connections would not be where it is today without the belief and backing of Yorkshire Bank. With their ongoing support, we have accessed different funding solutions for our start-up and ambitious growth to help service the needs of our clients.”
Given that nearly four in every 10 SMEs in the North East said they would consider changing their bank (39%) to receive a better overall service, Yorkshire Bank has something to offer every business – especially because it has the North at its very essence.
Family business, Brian James Trailers, located in Daventry, is an SME that has seen significant growth in the trailer manufacturing industry after marrying new technologies to traditional service.
Managing director Brandon James, said: “Employing complex systems and embracing new technologies increases efficiency, but high levels of customer service and dedicated care are what sets us apart.
“Yorkshire Bank has always been extremely supportive in understanding our requirements and helping us to invest by developing tailor-made funding packages.”
The company is now Europe’s leading trailer manufacturer with 40 dealerships and 160 staff.
- Find out more about a business bank that works for you at YBonline.co.uk/business