Businesses call for Stability, Clarity and Action in wake of EU Referendum Result

Businesses across the Sheffield City Region (SCR) are calling for stability, clarity and action from Government as the UK navigates its withdrawal from Europe.

They made the call during a business breakfast held in Chesterfield on 12 July, where the Quarterly Economic Survey (QES) results were presented for quarter 2 to highlight the economic climate in regional businesses.

The QES and breakfast event were run by the Sheffield City Region’s Local Enterprise Partnership and four Chambers of Commerce, and sponsored by RBS South Yorkshire & North Derbyshire.

More than 80 local business leaders attending the event at Ringwood Hall heard from Prof. Andrew Simpson, Sheffield University Management School how the survey results suggest that regional economic growth was generally positive in the second quarter of 2016, and that firms held a positive outlook on the regional economy looking forward.

Focusing on stability and investment in the SCR economy, a panel featuring Scott Knowles – East Midlands Chamber Chief Executive, Nigel Brewster – Vice-Chair of Sheffield City Region LEP, John Burrows – Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, Martin McKervey – of Nabarro and Steve Roberts – Director of Fripp Design and Research, talked about the immediate impacts on the regional economy of the vote to leave.

They highlighted the importance of inward investment, trade agreements, and a balance between staying positive and making difficult decisions.

Chris Hobson, Director of Policy for East Midlands Chamber, said: “Businesses at the event made it clear that they want to see stability, clarity and action from the Government, which must work to bring stability to markets, clarity on the timetable for changes to our relationship with Europe, and action on the many issues that matter for growth.

“Although the referendum resulted in a vote to leave, the UK is still open for business and the appetite that businesses have to create jobs, drive growth and expand into new markets is still strong.

“While nothing will change in the immediate term, the QES breakfast event made clear that businesses across the Sheffield City Region want speedy clarity around fundamental issues such as the future trade deals the UK will seek, the type of legislative framework that may be introduced and the broader vision for a successful UK outside of the EU.

“And given the disconnect between the way London voted in the referendum compared with other parts of the UK, including the Sheffield City Region, there is a general consensus that devolution to our region should be viewed as a huge opportunity.

“The four Sheffield City Region Chambers will be working with key partner organisations to ensure our members and the wider business community are equipped with the right tools and information they need to run their businesses successfully as the withdrawal process unfolds.”

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