- Citibase’s quarterly Business Confidence Index reflects the views of Brexit from 1,085 small businesses in the UK.
- 72% of respondents prefer office contract lengths of less than three years, up from 57% at the start of 2017.
- “Whether we have a deal, a no-deal or a second referendum, UK SMEs just want to get on with running their businesses” – Steve Jude, Citibase CEO
As Brexit uncertainty marches on, the latest Citibase Business Confidence Index suggests that UK SMEs are well equipped for the future.
The quarterly survey of 1,085 SME decision makers by flexible office company Citibase, reveals that 57% were substantially prepared for the initial leave date of 29 March 2019.
64% have already started – or are about to start – creating strategies to deal with post-Brexit issues, up from 59% last quarter.
However, 59% still would opt to change their decision on Brexit, restoring the relationship between the UK and the EU to its state before the referendum took place. Interestingly, 70% of UK SMEs expect a no-deal Brexit to cause revenues to stay the same or rise.
Shortening Office Contracts
Part of the Brexit preparation includes de-risking when it comes to office contracts, with 72% preferring office contract lengths of less than three years, up from 57% at the start of 2017.
Additionally, when considering an office, SMEs rated flexible, short-term contracts (50%) and the ability to easily change the size of their space (53%) as some of the top priorities, both increasing in popularity since Q1.
While often grabbing headlines, facilities such as on-site bars and cafes ranked poorly (15%) in terms of importance, suggesting that SMEs mostly crave flexibility rather than added extras.
Financially, 71% of UK SMEs have seen revenues rise or stay the same since the referendum, slightly up from 68% last quarter, showing growing confidence amongst the UK SME community. Furthermore, 38% have found it harder to attract investment or raise funding, which is down 2% from last quarter and down from 50% in Q4.
44% of UK SMEs think the government did not provide enough support to UK SMES throughout the Brexit uncertainty, while 43% believe the latest extension will produce a better deal for UK SMEs.
Steve Jude, Citibase CEO, comments: “This quarter’s results show real confidence and resilience amongst the UK SME community, however they still remain cautious. Therefore it comes as no surprise that office contacts between one and three years are the most desired as they crave flexibility, affordability and agility. Whether we have a deal, a no-deal or a second referendum, UK SMEs just want to get on with running their businesses.”
The exclusive quarterly Citibase Business Confidence Index, now in its third year, reflects the views of 1,085 small businesses across a wide variety of sectors including marketing, PR, financial services, travel and recruitment.