Posted: Fri 20th Jan 2017
As entrepreneur turned politician Donald Trump prepares to officially become the 45th president of the US, research suggests many small business owners are positive about his impact.
According to the poll of 1,100 small firms by Citibase, two thirds believed Trump's presidency will either be positive or have no impact on business. Another 18% predicted a negative outcome.
The research also analysed entrepreneurs' views on Britain's exit from the European Union and found that 'hard Brexiteers' believed the US president elect will have less of a negative effect on their business.
Those in favour of a hard Brexit said there will be no impact (61%) or a positive effect (19%) from Trump's rise to the White House. SMEs that prefer a soft Brexit were more likely to believe the new president will have a negative effect (29%).
The feeling towards the impact of Trump also differed throughout the UK. SMEs in the North East were the most confident about their business with Trump in the White House with 26% of those surveyed positive about his impact.
The regions most wary of Trump were Wales (36%) and Scotland (26%), while London business owners were split almost equally between those that think it will be positive (18%) and negative (19%).
Steve Jude, Citibase CEO said: "SMEs are the heartbeat of the UK economy and we have found that both Trump, and the impact he is having on the world, along with the confusion surround the UK's Brexit strategy has been mostly water off a duck's back for our country's SMEs.
"When it comes to the type of relationship SMEs want with Europe, opinions are mostly in favour of a 'soft' Brexit, which is timely with the fluctuation of sterling due to ongoing Brexit discussions."
Trump has pledged to negotiate an early US-UK trade deal after saying "the UK was so smart in getting out [of the EU]", while a business man is set to become the new US ambassador to Britain.
Trump indicated that he has selected Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets American football team and heir to the Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical empire, to take on the prestigious job.