The Entrepreneurs’ Forum has released the results of its members’ business tracker survey which reveals that, if an EU Referendum were held today, 63% would vote to remain.
However, in the research conducted in collaboration with Public Knowledge, 60% of business owners also believe there should not be another EU Referendum, with 17% favouring to leave with the Prime Minister’s deal and 10% with WTO terms.
78% opted against another General Election being held before June 2019.
Analysing findings from across the wider North East business community, 50% of entrepreneurs surveyed expect Brexit to have an impact on their business; 88% believe it will be negative for their organisation.
Economic confidence was broadly down among the business community, as 58% of people are less confident in the economy now than they were 12 months ago, with 56% less confident than they were three months ago.
Contrary to this, 54% of entrepreneurs are more confident in their business than they were 12 months ago, and 46% are more optimistic than three months ago. Finding quality skilled staff (31%) and economic uncertainty (21%) were found to be the biggest barriers to growth.
Gillian Marshall, chief executive of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, said: “The uncertainty surrounding Brexit, not only in what could happen to the economy after the UK leaves the EU, but on the actual Brexit process being delivered by the Government, has increased concerns among North East businesses.
“While the majority of our members believe we should honour the outcome of the referendum, the fact that our survey reveals what would happen if the vote was held now speaks volumes about the apprehension that has built up within the business community.”
Gillian added: “Our Business Tracker Survey reinforces the indomitable spirit of entrepreneurs. While confidence in the economy is down, the belief people have in their own business’ potential is on the rise, which is essential as owner-managed enterprises have such a significant role to play in the economic future of the UK.
“Whatever the outcome of Brexit, agile entrepreneurs will be the ones that make the most of the opportunities they’re presented with. Hopefully, we will soon see the first indications of what the economic landscape will look like, so business owners can start to move forward and build on the confidence they have in their own potential to grow.”
The Entrepreneurs’ Forum represents more than 300 individual member companies, which have a combined turnover of more than £2.3 billion and in excess of 25,000 employees.