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South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) raps out warning 50 days ahead of Brexit

By Chris Britcher

Small businesses in the county must not ignore the implications of Brexit, a leading business organisation has warned, with just 50 days to go before our planned departure from the EU.

The South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) has urged the small business community to examine every part of their operations amid concerns smaller firms may be confused or may not even have considered what it might mean for them.

Christian Brodie, chair of SELEP, said: “Through our business networks we are aware of commercial pressures already being experienced by the south east business community ahead of Brexit.

Christian Brodie, chairman of Selep, urges small firms not to ignore Brexit implications
Christian Brodie, chairman of Selep, urges small firms not to ignore Brexit implications

“We want to hear directly from business, especially the small ones which make up the majority of companies in our area, and we will share their concerns with our contacts in Whitehall so their voice is heard louder.

“Our colleagues in the area’s chambers of commerce, growth hubs and other business support agencies are already reporting that the ongoing uncertainty of Brexit is impacting on business performance with many companies holding off on investment decisions.”

The warning comes following a meeting, attended by Mr Brodie, of LEP chairs with the prime minister earlier this week.

Theresa May met with Mr Brodie and other LEP chairs earlier this week
Theresa May met with Mr Brodie and other LEP chairs earlier this week

Mr Brodie added: “The clock is counting down, and businesses can’t wait for our politicians to finalise what Brexit might look like.

“We are asking government to be as clear and open with the business community about the realities over the next 50 days, to move aside the politics and enable businesses to properly plan for their future.

“As the closest part of the UK to mainland Europe, the immediate impact of a no-deal Brexit will be felt here first.

Problems at the ports post-Brexit could have major ramifications for county's economy
Problems at the ports post-Brexit could have major ramifications for county's economy

“The importance of our area’s ports to the economic wellbeing of our country can’t be under-estimate."

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