Zurich says noise surrounding EU Referendum is creating uncertainty about the risks to small and medium businesses
More than a third (39%) of British SMEs would vote to leave the EU in the upcoming referendum, a survey by Zurich has revealed.
The survey of over 1,000 SME decision makers has shown that almost half (49%) of those surveyed saying they would vote to remain in the EU.
Zurich said the mixed response showed that the noise surrounding the EU Referendum was creating uncertainty about the risks to small and medium businesses.
Economic growth seems to be a key concern among British SMEs, with more than two in five (42%) of those surveyed stating that leaving the EU would have a negative effect on the UK economy over the next five years.
Only one fifth (19%) of the decision makers believe that there would be a positive effect on the UK’s economy.
The skills shortage was one of the main consequences of an exit from the EU.
In the event of an Out vote, more than a third (35%) of SMEs believe the UK would not have enough skilled workers in 5 years’ time.
The survey showed that pro-EU sentiment was highest among business respondents working in London and Scotland.
Zurich head of SME Anne Griffiths said: “Whether most concerned about economic growth or the amplification of a skills shortage, the noise surrounding the EU Referendum is clearly creating a lot of uncertainty about the risks to small and medium businesses.
“In the event of leaving or staying in the EU, these companies are the heartbeat of the British economy and it is essential they have the tools to enable and support growth.”