Published: 09:20, 01 February 2019
| Updated: 13:11, 01 February 2019
A leading business figure has called for more financial support to help small businesses prepare for Brexit.
Speaking at a gather of SMEs at the London Golf Club in Ash, near Brands Hatch, this week, Sonali Parekh, head of policy for the Federation of Small Businesses warned support was needed now with the clock ticking to our departure on March 29.
She told the audience of more than 50 at the McBrides Chartered Accountants Brexit Panel event: "Small businesses are resilient, but confidence has dropped sharply in recent months and it’s taking its toll.
"We are very clearly against a 'no deal' on March 29.
"We want to see financial support, whether in the form of vouchers or soft loans, made available to smaller businesses to help them to prepare.
"The HMRC grants to support smaller businesses trading or looking to trade with the EU to build up their capacity to deal with customs declarations are a step in the right direction, but far more support needs to be made available.”
Alex Golledge, the Bank of England’s south east and East Anglia deputy agent and Alex Stojanovic from the Institute for Government, were also on the panel.
Mr Stojanovic said: "At this stage, we don’t have an alternative to ‘no deal’. Generally, for a lot of people this hasn’t been on their radar. There are many regulations that people haven’t understood the full ramifications of and it’s fair to ask do MPs fully understand the deal? Whatever relationship we have with the EU, Brexit is not going to go away.”