Two-thirds of Kent businesses said they are confident about the year ahead despite the ongoing uncertainty caused by Brexit, a new poll has found.
Conducted by accountancy firm Crowe Clark Whitehill – which has its Kent offices based in Tunbridge Wells – the survey found that 65 per cent of the 55 respondents were feeling positive about the next 12 months.
The figures are in stark contrast to when the same survey was conducted in the run-up to the Referendum it found that 67 per cent of respondents favoured remaining in the EU.
Darren Rigden, a partner at the accountants, said many of those surveyed in the latest poll believed Brexit presented an ‘opportunity’ for their businesses to grow faster and will result in less red tape.
He added: “Although the terms are yet to be finalised, the businesses we spoke to felt it was unlikely there would be a higher amount of legislation and therefore were confident opportunities would be greater.
“In the lead-up to the Referendum there was a lot of uncertainty politically, socially and economically.
“Those businesses that voted ‘no’ when asked if they were confident about the year ahead felt that the Referendum result had done little to appease the uncertainty.
“Some said the shocks felt in both the currency and stock exchanges would take a signiﬁ cant amount of time to recover, and may not do so until Britain had demonstrated how it operates outside of the EU.”
The picture is more optimistic in the medium term, however. Mr Rigden said: “A large number of the ‘no’ voters said that had our survey covered a period of five years rather than the next 12 months, they would have voted ‘yes’, indicating that conﬁ dence levels in businesses in Britain still remain high.
“But for some this is more medium than short term.”