Tuesday June 21st 2016

The EU: are we in or out? We’re in! say city centre businesses

shutterstock_371667148When asked about how they will vote in Thursday’s EU referendum, 69% of city centre business owners in Sheffield said they wanted to remain in the EU.  That’s according to a survey done by Sheffield’s Business Improvement District earlier this week.

Of the 132 businesses that responded to the BID Barometer, 16% were for leaving and a further 15% still undecided.

Other findings include:

55% of respondents said they are pro-EU and 12% anti-EU.

84% are in favour of the single market and agreed it is vital to the UK economy.

80% feel that leaving the EU will make the UK a less attractive investment location for international businesses.

24% say the cost of EU membership outweighs the benefits and that EU regulations discriminate unfairly against British businesses. 56% disagree.

When asked if the UK’s contribution to the EU budget would be better spent on healthcare or education, 64% said no.

32% of respondents said a Brexit result will have no impact on their business, whilst 68% said it will have a negative impact, 12% stating this would be severe.

The BID also surveyed businesses on their thoughts about the economy with 66% of businesses stating they were confident in the economy and 62% claiming they expected sales to increase over the next 6 months. 48% also expect to increase headcount in the same period.

Sheffield BID Manager Diane Jarvis said:

“Whilst the national polls are indicating very little difference between the Brexit and Remain camps, businesses in Sheffield City Centre are clearly in favour of staying in Europe.  Our research also found a renewed confidence in the economy so it’s not surprising that businesses don’t want to enter a prolonged period of uncertainty and instability.

“What’s interesting is that a high proportion of our businesses say they favour the single market and that leaving the EU could have an adverse impact on inward investment. Yet there is a small proportion of these businesses who will still vote to leave.”

One respondent said: “We simply don’t know.  It’s a perceived risk.”

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