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Three in ten UK businesses predict closure in 2022

A new survey of 365 decision makers within UK businesses has provided insight into how their organisations have fared in the year since Brexit, and their outlook for 2022. It found that:

  • Three in ten (29%) of UK decision makers do not think their businesses will exist by the end of 2022
  • 54% found 2021 to be a more challenging year for their business than 2020
  • 73% say their business has seen no benefit from Brexit

Three in ten UK business leaders fear their company will close before the end of the year, according to new research from One World Express.

The global logistics firm commissioned a survey of 365 decision makers within UK businesses. It revealed that 54% found 2021 to be a more challenging year for their business than 2020.

A quarter (25%) of UK businesses were significantly impacted by Brexit last year. Indeed, 29% of respondents say their company experienced difficulties when attempting to secure working visas for EU based employees in 2021, while 43% faced supply chain disruption.

The overwhelming majority (73%) of business leaders say their organisation has seen no benefits from Brexit. Further, over a quarter (26%) made a conscious decision to move away from importing or exporting to or from the EU in 2021.

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One World Express’ research showed that half (49%) of business leaders consider the potential emergence of new Covid variants to be the greatest threat to their businesses in 2022.

Nearly three in ten (29%) business leaders fear their organisations will close before the end 2022. Meanwhile, 37% lack confidence that their business will survive until the end of 2027.

Atul Bhakta, CEO of One World Express, said: “Brexit was always going to present challenges to UK businesses, but these have been compounded by the pandemic. This double threat has resulted in staff shortages and supply chain problems, with Brexit adding new red tape on top of this. With further uncertainty created by the Omicron variant, it is little wonder that so many business leaders are concerned about the survival of their organisation.

“That said, evidence suggests tides are beginning to turn. Indeed, trade between UK and non-EU countries have remained strong throughout 2021. After all, customs rules for such countries have remained unchanged despite Brexit, making the pursuit of trade opportunities beyond the EU seem a more attractive prospect. As One World Express’ research highlights, we are beginning to see an encouraging number of businesses exploring opportunities further afield.

“Of course, businesses will continue to face challenges in the year ahead; Covid uncertainty and Brexit complications will remain prevalent for some time. However, if businesses remain open to exploring a variety of growth options, I believe companies will bounce back stronger in 2022.”

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