Institute members have another opportunity to influence the decisions of government and the institutions – this time in an influential poll on the UK’s economic outlook.
The study includes questions on export demands, investment and employment levels, as well as opinion on skills shortages, alternative lending and the living wage.
The opportunity follows a request from the President of the Engineering Industries Association (EIA), Sir Ronald Halstead, to gauge exporters’ views help ahead of his March meeting with the Genesis Initiative Panel at the Bank of England.
The Genesis Panel was created to improve the future of SMEs in the UK and Europe - creating economic reform that is driven by them and supported by parliamentarians. The upcoming meeting will discuss prospects for the UK’s SMEs in the light of the current economic and political situation, so your feedback is vital.
Since the EIA’s last survey, the UK’s negotiating position on leaving the EU has been clarified. While nobody knows what will happen over the next few years, there have already been major developments that could affect business confidence and trading opportunities.
For example, sterling is weakening against the Euro and the dollar, making exports cheaper and imports more expensive, while the Chancellor has abandoned plans to plug the budget deficit by 2020.
In addition, the government has set up the British Business Bank to fund the alternative lending market. This in turn has formed a joint venture with the Royal Sun Alliance (URICA) to help the cash flow of SMEs – including exporters - and supply chains via invoice finance.
Institute director general, Lesley Batchelor OBE, said: “In uncertain times, the valued opinion of our members is once again being sought to help create the most favourable conditions for the UK’s SMEs. We urge them and businesses working in international trade to take part.”
Will your costs rise because of sterling’s depreciation? Is the living wage likely to be a problem for you? Is the prospect of leaving the EU affecting your business confidence? Take a few minutes to have your say.
You can complete the EIA survey here before 28th February 2017.