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SME groups forge Brexit partnership

Nine key SME representative organisations plan to work together to make sure small-business interests are represented, as the UK begins the process of exiting the EU.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), Enterprise Nation, National Enterprise Network, Open to Export, IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-employed), The Entrepreneurs Network, the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales, British Library Business and IP Centre, and Coadec (the Coalition for a Digital Economy) will coordinate their efforts in the interests of UK SMEs and start-ups.

Emma Jones of Enterprise Nation said: 

"It's more important than ever for entrepreneurs to maintain optimism and look forwards, not backwards. The worst thing we can do is talk ourselves into a recession, when formal negotiations leading to exit will take at least two years.
"Inevitably there will be new opportunities and there are things businesses can do to protect themselves from changes that might affect them in the short term and in the future. We have come together to make sure small businesses can easily get hold of the information and advice they need during the current period of uncertainty."

Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said: 

"FSB will work with government and others to ensure the UK's 5.4m smaller firms get the best deal for them to do business. At this week's business summit chaired by business secretary Sajid Javid, I stressed the need for immediate action to ensure economic stability, to ensure small businesses can continue to trade. Smaller firms need simple access to the single market, the ability to hire the right people, continued EU funding for key schemes and clarity on the future regulatory framework.
"When the negotiations start, FSB will be a constructive partner and a strong voice, working with other entrepreneur groups and pushing for swift clarity on these crucial points."

Simon McVicker, Director of Policy and External Affairs at IPSE, stated: 

"Now we are leaving the EU, IPSE believes the priorities should be new global trading arrangements, cutting burdensome regulation on small and micro businesses and ensuring that Britain has the most flexible and attractive economy in the world."

Clive Lewis, Head of Enterprise at ICAEW, commented: 

"While there have been no negotiations following the UK vote to leave the EU, the financial markets are already adjusting to the new situation. It is likely that foreign currency movements could affect small business trading position through either sales revenue or costs, so it is more important than ever to monitor financial performance."

Philip Salter, Founder of The Entrepreneurs Network, said: 

"The Entrepreneurs Network is calling on the current and next government to strike a deal that's best for Britain, and that means causing as little damage as possible to the free movement of goods, capital and people, which means staying in the Single Market.”

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