The survey, conducted by Opinium Research between 23rd October and 4th November of 1,003 SME senior decision makers, found that the main reason for the lack of planning was because of SMEs’ continued focus on managing the impact of the pandemic.
Other reasons included the lack of information available (40%), with just under a third of SMEs (29%) stating that they don’t have the funds to get an expert to help with Brexit preparations, with 31% confused as to where to look for Brexit information.
Of those UK construction SMEs that have started to prepare for Brexit, 19% have diversified into new markets in anticipation for a potential decrease in income, and 10% have started to offer more tailored services and products to suit individual clients.
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Overall, only 17% of SME owners think Brexit will worsen the economic difficulties caused by Covid-19, while over a quarter (27%) expect Brexit to have no impact on their business.
Andrew Dixon, commercial director for specialist finance at Aldermore, said: “While the delay in preparing for Brexit is understandable, given the ongoing impact of the pandemic, it could have serious financial consequences and make 2021 just as painful as 2020.
“It’s crucial that SMEs begin to take steps to prepare for the potential wide-ranging effects of what is increasingly looking likely to be a no-deal Brexit.
“Businesses that are confused about where to find to information on how to prepare should consult the government’s guidance for SMEs post-Brexit transition.
“This will help them work out how any regulatory changes could impact them and their business.”
Aldermore has also created a Brexit hub with key information for businesses to help them best prepare for the transition.