Comment by Alex Littner, Managing Director, Boost Capital

Whichever side of the fence you are on, you certainly couldn’t be criticised for not being able to sit tight with absolute certainty. There are so many ‘undecideds’ wavering from one side to the other that is can be difficult to find any sense in it all.

At this stage, I think we need to forget the emotion, the hype, the scaremongering and the soapbox. There are just three things we ought to focus on:
• Economy
• Wealth
• Health

Economically the position is really clear. To Remain means we continue to be part of an underperforming European economy. To ‘Leave’ will undoubtedly cause some immediate wobbles, but the truth is that the traders have largely factored any potential impacts into the currency and interest rate markets. Either way, I suspect a vote to ‘Leave’ could well bring benefits to business, helping exporters if the pound does slip a touch, or helping inward investment if it strengthens. The argument for a 20% deterioration is difficult to see, but nonetheless for those businesses not wanting to risk a rollercoaster, fixing exchange rates for export and import businesses would make sense. The question of trade taxes, import and export, has of course been a major discussion point for good reason.

Then we have the banks which continue to claim they are liquid, which, combined with the recent growth of the challenger banks and alternative lenders, should mean that there should be no immediate cash crunch to mirror 2008. I believe there should be no reason to pull back from investing in our businesses even if we do ‘Leave’, but, for those cautious business owners, there is the option to secure cashflow lines quickly from specialist small business lenders. At Boost Capital, we certainly will not be convinced by the scaremongering of the risks of ‘Leave’.

Wealth is simply driven by confidence, which in itself is the big question on everyone’s lips. Logically, whatever happens confidence should be good. Should ‘Leave’ reign supreme, those who have voted (i.e. the majority) will feel good about it and be on a mission to show how Britain can prosper without the burden of Europe. If it’s a ‘Remain’, in theory the markets should be happy, firm up, and we should all feel good that we have avoided any immediate instability. Either way those in the drinks industry will probably see an immediate boost!

Health, whether physical health or just the feel good factor, this is a serious issue not to be overshadowed. Much of the ‘Leave’ campaign hype has been around the immigration impact on the National Health Services. Conversely, so has the ‘Stay’ side. One argues from the demand side, the other from the supply side. Either way there will be an impact, and only time will tell whether the pressure on the NHS will be driven by a growing demand from immigrant driven population growth, or from a vacuum of doctors, nurses and carers. Only time too will tell whether we will see sufficient developments and innovations to take off the pressure from either side. Either way feeling good about life, driven by the economic wealth of the country will ease the pressure, even if the developments don’t.

All in all, my advice to our country’s small business owners is to position your vote on the two factors which really matter to the future prosperity of the UK: economy and wealth.

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