Business owners react to Conservative landslide

Business owners react to Conservative landslide
Chris Goodfellow
Chris GoodfellowInkwell

Posted: Fri 13th Dec 2019

Boris Johnson's election landslide means he has the majority needed to pass the EU Withdrawal Bill.

Johnson lost a series of votes on Brexit that were needed to pass legislation to allow the UK to leave the EU after two and a half years of negotiations.

Enterprise Nation member and Brexit Strategist Katrina McWhinnie said Brexit would happen under the framework of the renewed Withdrawal bill, a negotiated deal or no deal.

"Border controls will be in place. It's time for businesses to start getting Brexit-ready," she warned.

McWhinnie noted that HMRC customs grants are available for small businesses that complete customs declarations in preparation for the UK leaving the EU. The government has £8m funding to support training, recruiting and IT developments. Applications close on 31st January 2020.

Enterprise Nation founder Emma Jones said the result created the scope for a "business-friendly Brexit", which would end damaging political uncertainty.

"Whether you agree with Brexit or not, what's been clear is that stagnation and uncertainty have been damaging and people have voted accordingly.

"We hope this means we can now start to look at improving prompt payment, increasing access to early-stage finance and grants and developing policies that encourage small firms to innovate," she said.

Jones added she wants to see a Small Business Commissioner appointed as soon as possible.

Kuldip Singh Sahota, co-founder of Mr Singh's Sauce, said Labour would have been better for society but the Conservatives have a better track record when it comes to business.

"When you own a business, you want to carry on trading, you have to know what's happening so you can have easier conversations with clients. They just want to crack on.

"I think Labour's mistake was to go for a second referendum. For anyone running a small business, that proposition was like having another meeting about a meeting. It was going on and on and that's no good for getting on with things," he said.

Ricky Kothari, founder t-sticks of London , said: "All eyes are now On Boris Johnson and who he appoints to his Cabinet and trade deal negotiating team for EU trade talks.

"A majority may mean he feels comfortable pivoting towards closer alignment with Europe and a smoother, closer glide path out of Europe. We shall see."

"Our closest partners in the EU will have another 12 months of uncertainty until we know specifics and can start to make decisions and commit to deals on the table."

Chris Goodfellow
Chris GoodfellowInkwell
Chris has over a decade of experience writing about small businesses and startups. He runs Inkwell, a content agency that helps companies that sell to small business owners grow their audiences through content marketing. You can find him on Twitter at @CPGoodfellow.

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