Someday Vs. Today
by Alice Gallop
Nearly two months since British folks voted for Brexit, yet something is absent. No economic collapse. No EUpocalyse. The widely trailed ‘Brexageddon’ simply hasn’t materialised. The UK economy is, for now at least, taking Brexit in its stride.
Job listings were up 15,000 compared to the same period last year according to recruitment specialists, Reed Group. Chairman, James Reed said the 8% increase signalled ‘business as usual’ in the UK.
Remember the doom-sayers convinced that post-Brexit the international banks would be hell-bent on quitting the City? Well, just three weeks after Britons had their ‘fateful’ say, US bank Wells Fargo paid £300m for a new ‘European’ headquarters in the heart of London’s financial district; whilst JPMorgan and Goldmans have hailed London as ‘one of the most attractive places in the world to do business’, praising the ‘stable legal system’ coupled with ‘deep liquid capital markets unmatched anywhere in Europe’.
Consumer confidence has also seen a dramatic turnaround from its pre-Brexit days, rising at its fastest monthly pace in three-and-a-half years. TheYouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index reveals significant increases in people’s expectations for their household financial situations and property values over the coming year.
Countries are lining up to strike trade deals with the UK, with Japan, India and China among those to informally commit themselves. Far from putting us ‘at the back of the queue’, the Obama administration now wants to ‘maximise the economic opportunity’ of Brexit and strike a deal with Britain ‘as fast as possible’. Leader of the free world eating his words? Perhaps!
But only ‘perhaps’ because it does seems that the optimistic post-Brexitism has not extended to ‘wantrepreneurs’. Royal Bank of Scotland note that confidence amongst aspiring entrepreneurs has fallen. Whereas, in the second quarter of 2015, 39% of people said that they wanted to start their own business, that’s plummeted to 10% in the latest results. RBS attribute the plunge to post-Brexit uncertainty compounding the two usual fears common to entrepreneurs: 1. fear of failure and 2. not knowing where to get help and support.
We humans are more or less hard-wired to respond to change negatively. When big shakeups occur, most of us are more likely to hide under the blanket than leap boldly into the unknown. But this is the precise time for entrepreneurs to make their mark. If the majority clam up and “hibernate” until uncertainty ends, then this must be the time for ‘you’ to get noticed?
The 25 per cent interest rate cut must surely be a further incentive bringing cheaper loans for business owners. And the appointment of Margot James — an entrepreneur herself — as small business minister demonstrates just how sensitive the new UK government intends to be towards the needs of its small business community.
These gestures send a colossal, neon-lit message to would-be entrepreneurs that the UK is open for business. The doomsday scenario was a non-starter. Don’t hold off until ‘someday’. There are seven days in a week and ‘someday’ isn’t one of them!