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What impact might Brexit have on SMEs in Australia?

28 June 2016

The EU Referendum in Great Britain has caused a few shocks around the world, with residents of the UK frantically signing a petition to have a second chance at remaining a member. The vote passed at 52 per cent to 48 per cent, with early estimates on the day showing more than 16 million people had voted to leave.

Britain looks set to leave, and it affected the Great British Pound dramatically before the final decision was even made, according to Smart Company.

William Shepherd, the treasury manager at OFX, said that returns from British trading partners are going to affect Australian businesses the most if a Brexit move is actually finalised.

"Should a Brexit occur, businesses and investors will grow less confident of a good return in Britain," said Mr Shepherd.

"Britain isn't Australia's largest trading partner, but it's a significant one, and business decisions made by British businesses could have consequences for local companies, both big and small. In this case, businesses need to consider on an individual basis how much risk they're willing to hold when it comes to their British trading partners."

Is your trading going to be affected by a Brexit?

Global repercussions - is it going to be worth it down under?

Global wealth is struggling to find stable ground, which is showing fragility in a number of countries, not least of all is Great Britain itself. According to The Conversation, one US investor has predicted that a Brexit would lead to a 15 per cent depreciation in the Sterling value. This leaves the UK in a volatile position, and could cause businesses to restrict their trading enormously.

For Australian SMEs that are doing business with UK counterparts, that could be a big hit to cash flow. If this is the case, invoice finance might be the best option to ensure you keep money coming in.

"[Brexit was] certainly a surprise and while it was always tipped to be close, I think most in markets globally expected a vote in favour of remaining," commented ANZ CEO Shayne Elliott to the Sydney Morning Herald.

"[The decision has] caused significant volatility and dislocation in markets that will impact funding costs in at least the short term."

While this issue is occurring so many miles away, it might seem inconsequential to Australian markets. In the longer term, that might be the case, but for now, shoring up your business finance is of the utmost importance for your own stability.

Get in touch with Earlypay today to discuss what your best options are after Brexit.