Fears over Eurozone instability are preventing small and medium-sized enterprises from exploring international trade.
Fears over Eurozone instability are preventing small and medium-sized enteprises (SMEs) from exploring international trade.
Almost one in five (17 per cent) SMEs say they are too concerned about European markets to even think about doing business internationally, according to a study of 1,000 companies by invoice financier Bibby Financial Services.
A third (29 per cent) of companies cite the Eurozone crisis, with the resulting market instability and impact on exports, as having the biggest negative impact on the day-to-day performance of their business.
While 38 per cent say that financial and cultural barriers as well as costs and export regulations are preventing them from trading in foreign markets, 18 per cent of respondents reveal they had never considered exporting at all.
The UK’s EU exports decreased to £11.4 billion in April, a drop of more than 20 per cent from March – unusually high for the seasonal export dip between March and April.
David Postings, UK chief executive of Bibby says, ‘Trade to EU member states is clearly being affected by the European debt crisis, but to find that this issue is preventing businesses from any involvement in overseas trade is a huge concern.
‘Identifying opportunities for growth in new markets is vital to the longevity of any business and it is important that the effect of current turmoil in Europe on the day-to-day performance of UK firms is kept to a minimum.’
The survey reveals that London-based businesses are feeling most pressured by the problems in Europe, with 38 per cent of companies in the capital struggling as a result.
In Scotland, by contrast, the situation in Europe seems to be having less of an impact, with only 17 per cent of Scottish companies citing the Eurozone crisis as a major challenge to their current stability.
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