Business development · 10 October 2016

Export investment amongst small firms reaches two-year high

Export activity amongst small UK firms has doubled in the last year
New research has found that small UK business owners are shunning worries over Brexit and looking for more and more growth opportunities overseas.

The number of smaller firms investing in overseas trade is at its highest since 2014, with export activity amongst these companies doubling in the last 12 months, figures from Bibby Financial Services have shown.

According to the invoice finance consultancy’s latest SME confidence tracker, 15 per cent of smaller firms invest in exporting in the third quarter of 2016, up from 8 per cent in same period last year.

The research also found as many as 37 per cent of Britain’s small company owners thought the UK’s vote to leave the EU would not have a significant impact on business, with a further 37 per cent admitting it was too early to tell.

Bibby’s global chief executive, David Postings, said that the latest figures suggested that small business owners were looking to shrug off post-Brexit vote concerns as quickly as possible. it’s clear that small firms want to get back to business after an unsettling first half of the year, added Postings.

Just over half of small business owners said they were most worried by the decreasing value of the pound, citing devaluation as a significant threat to business over the next 12 months.

The manufacturing sector was shown to be increasingly confident in terms of exports, with 22 per cent of smaller manufacturers claiming to have invested in international trade in the last three months.

Postings went on to say: Many firms are now taking advantage of the fall in sterling to build their export capability, particularly those who manufacture within the UK.

while many businesses are concerned about the falling pound, weve seen a range of positive data over the summer which show a resilience in the UK economy.



Fred Heritage was previously 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.