Finance · 5 July 2016

Can alternative finance save small business from Britain’s post-Brexit milieu?   

Equity crowdfunding
Britain’s alternative finance sector grew by 84 per cent in 2014 to 2015

Around 40 per cent of small business owners are concerned about the funding options that will be available to them in the future, in light of Britain’s vote to leave the EU.

According to the results of a new survey from finance firm Capify, 21 per cent of small company owners said they thought Brexit would “slightly hinder” their options for funding, whereas a further fifth said it would “severely limit” their options.

However, with around 54 per cent of small business owners stating that they thought Brexit would not have an impact on their ability to raise finance, the overriding feeling remains one of optimism.

Alternative finance continues to thrive in the UK, and has become an increasingly popular way for startup founders to raise capital. The market for alternative finance grew by 84 per cent in 2014 to 2015, and small business owners may be encouraged by the continued support of new and innovative lenders as more and more high street banks announce branch closures and staff cuts.

According to Capify CEO Tony Pegg, the impact of the dropping value of the pound following the Brexit vote is likely to hit larger firms initially, giving Britain’s small business owners time to prepare for any shock.

Commenting on the results of the survey, Pegg said in a statement: “I am happy to see that many business owners are still feeling positive about their future, as long as they continue to work hard and adapt accordingly, they will thrive.

“There’s been a lot of negative comment in the news, causing people to feel even less confident,” added Pegg. “But, we need to look at this in a positive light. For many years, the UK has had a strong economy, ranking fifth in the world, the EU also made our business owners stick to strict and often ridiculous regulations and now we are free of that.”

Last week, small business representatives met with other business bodies in Westminster as the dust settled after Britain voted to leave the EU on 23 June.

The heads of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) pledged to work together to provide economic stability and a foundation for small firms to grow in the months and years ahead.

In a statement following the Brexit vote, FSB national chairman Mike Cherry outlined that secure access to funding options would be a key small business requirement going forward, alongside maintaining simple access to the single market and an ability to hire European staff.

Which taxes on your business might be impacted as a result of the Brexit vote? Read on to find out. 

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Fred Heritage is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London. He previously worked as a reporter at Global Trade Review magazine.

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