Brexit fears bigger for Scottish small businesses
More than half of Scots responding to a survey cited Brexit as the biggest challenge alongside the continued impact of Covid-19. According to the report from Newable, which provides finance and workspaces to SMEs, the 57% of Scottish companies that have pushed for Brexit compare to just 30% across the UK.
Its latest Business Index report also shows that four in five Scottish SMEs say they have seen their productivity improve or remain unchanged by the switch to working from home.
Less than half of small business owners want to return to work in an office full time, with the cost of commuting the most important factor.
However, only 43 percent of Scottish SMEs believe their business is prepared for hybrid work, compared to 66 percent nationally.
Despite the impact of lockdowns, 52% of those surveyed reported a ‘positive’ or ‘no’ impact on revenue from Covid-19 and the majority of SMEs in Scotland also said they were not delaying decisions to investment due to pandemic, up from 32 percent nationally.
However, Scottish SMEs appear to be worried about the UK’s pandemic recovery, with 70% believing the economy will take more than 24 months to recover. Across the UK, SMEs appear to be more optimistic, with 65% believing they will recover in less than 24 months.
Chris Manson, CEO of Newable, which operates commercial workspaces across Scotland, said it was reassuring that Scottish SMEs have been working successfully from their homes during the pandemic.
“However, it is clear that they are still cautious about the future as we embark on the road to recovery after a difficult year for all small and medium sized businesses in the UK.”
Manson said it was clear from the research that SMEs wanted a “more agile and hybrid style of working.”
He said he expects central and conventional office portfolios to shrink as space is “rearranged for team collaboration.”
Earlier this year, MSPs were warned that Scottish companies had been ‘thrown to the wolves’ due to post-Brexit trade chaos in cross-Channel ports.
Delays in which pen color to use on official forms and where stamps appear in documents, as well as failed computer systems, are among the “dozens of problems” that have devastated the country’s export sector in recent years. weeks, industry experts said. Holyrood European Committee.
A free trade deal was struck between the UK and the EU just before Brexit went into effect earlier this year, which initially allayed fears of costly tariffs on exports to the continent for companies.
But the introduction of complex and lengthy checks at ports like Boulogne and Dunkirk has left many export companies struggling to cope.
Newable operates Citibase flexible office space in Scotland, including locations in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Earlier this year, its investment arm Newable Ventures supported a £ 1.24million investment round for Scottish research and development firm RAB-Microfluidics.
The funding round, led by Eos Advisory, will help the Aberdeen start-up strengthen its team and further develop its product roadmap.