23rd Jun, 2017

Pressure rising for Redditch businesses in the wake of Brexit uncertainty

Correspondent 11th Jan, 2017

THE UNCERTAINTY following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is beginning to impact businesses in Worcestershire, the county’s top business leader has warned.

Mike Ashton, the Chief Executive of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce, made the comments after the chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey results were revealed for the last four months of 2016.

It found 43 per cent of businesses are feeling the pressure to raise prices, more than doubling since the referendum result in June. This has been put down to the increasing costs of raw material prices, as well as volatile exchange rates.

Some 20 per cent of small and medium sized businesses across the two counties said cash flow was becoming a substantial concern and reported a worsening situation.

The survey also found concerns over exchange rates was the biggest worry for 40 per cent of businesses, closely followed by corporate tax and competition.

Mike Ashton said: “This quarter we are beginning to see the uncertainty around Brexit hit local business.

“The number of businesses expecting to raise prices has more than doubles and cash flow poses a real concern.

“However, businesses remain resilient and the outlook for the year remains positive, with the majority of business expecting turnover and profitability to improve.”