COMPANIES in Warwickshire are being reassured they can grow and prosper outside the EU.
The Coventry and Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce is offering support to businesses on the back of the referendum vote for Britain to leave the European Union.
The Chamber has launched a ‘Go For Growth’ post-referendum telephone support line manned by advisers offering impartial support to businesses.
Chief executive Louise Bennett said the referendum had caused a great deal of uncertainty, which would continue until details of the process and the timescales of the exit were known.
She said: “A leave vote was always going to be the most difficult to mitigate but that’s not to say that it should put business growth on hold.
“So we wanted to offer businesses the reassurance that they can grow and prosper and go ahead with their plans for expansion.
“Our exporters should get in touch if they have any concerns or, indeed, if they see this as an opportunity to expand their horizons when it comes to international trade.
“We are anticipating lots of questions on what this will mean for the future around trade with the EU, regulations, staffing where businesses have employees from the EU and a whole host of other issues this will throw up.”
The pound’s fall to a 31 year low and the FTSE 100 drop by more than eight per cent in the wake of the result had also prompted worry.
Ms Bennett added: “We have already seen the market reaction to the vote and that will be of major concern to businesses and individuals – and that means we are going to need very strong leadership at all levels.
“In the short term, the answer is nothing should technically change but we are going to need very clear answers.”
And the boss of Warwickshire and Coventry’s Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) reiterated the call for clarity from the Government.
Chairman Paul Miles Rogers said: “FSB calls on the Government for clarity on what these decisions now mean for business, including how businesses will have access to the single market and the free movement of people and trade.
“Nearly a quarter of FSB members export, with the majority exporting to the single market. Access to the single market means access to 500 million potential consumers, more than 26 million businesses and is worth 11 trillion euros.
“These are crucial questions that need to be answered swiftly to ensure the UK’s small business confidence does not fall any further, which is already at the lowest levels since 2013. This includes clarity over the practical implications of this result on how smaller firms do business.
“FSB will continue to be a constructive partner in any upcoming negotiations, ensuring the voice of smaller firms is heard loud and clear.”